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High tech thief warning as £1.8m of bikes stolen in Lancashire

Police warn the tea leaves are only after the richest pickings

Lancashire Police have warned cyclists that their bikes may be at risk without extra security measures, saying that more than £1.8m worth of bikes have been stolen in the county in the last year.

3,852 bikes were taken, and the officers investigating say that the higher value thefts may have been using data from exercise apps like Strava to identify where they were kept.

Cars with bike racks were also being followed home, to be targeted later on.

Sgt Kirstie Whyatt, based at Bispham Police station, near Blackpool, told the Express: "We are looking closely at the apps and phoning victims to see if they might have been using them.

"We are also considering whether thieves are looking out for cars with bike carriers."

She added: "This is a big problem across Lancashire. What has become clear is the way criminals are changing their behaviour.

"They are not taking any old bike. They are after cycles of high value.

"In the town centre we're still seeing people cutting chains and taking any bike but in residential areas they are breaking into sheds."

Bike theft expert officer Sgt Dave Sherrington, of Lancashire Police, said: "In 2015, 3,852 bicycles were reported stolen across Lancashire with a value of £1,813,511.

"This is only the thefts which were reported to police - we actually believe there are more thefts which remain unreported.

"It appears that the recent rise in the purchase of expensive high-tech bikes is fuelling the thefts - the most expensive bike stolen last year was worth over £10,000.

"We think that many of these thefts could have been prevented if owners had locked their bike up securely.”

At we want you to keep your trusty steed safe - so we’ve produced this guide to bike security.

And if you want our recommendations for the best locks your money can buy, click on over here.

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