Police in Oxford who stopped a man who was in possession of two stolen bikes had a surprise when they visited his house the following day to arrest him – they found a further 164 in his garden, and are trying to trace their owners.
Officers from Thames Valley Police stopped the man, who was carrying one bike and pushing along another, in Littlemore in the south of the city on Monday, reports the Oxford Mail.
They subsequently discovered that the bikes had been reported stolen, so on Tuesday went to the unnamed 48-year-old’s home to arrest him on suspicion of handling stolen goods and found the huge stash in his garden.
Police are now attempting to discover which of the bikes now in their possession have been reported stolen by their rightful owners.
— TVP Oxford (@TVP_Oxford) February 7, 2017
The man was arrested and has been bailed until 8 May pending further investigation.
What remains unexplained is why the man’s neighbours did not view such a vast collection of bikes left outside as something out of the ordinary.
In 2014, people living near Maidstone pensioner David Watts complained to the local council about his horde of bikes, kept outside his house, being an “eyesore.”
In this case, the bikes were not stolen – they had been collected by Mr Watts to be repaired or broken up for parts in the second-hand bike business he had set up in retirement.
Heading indoors, in 2011 we reported on a house for sale for almost £1 million in the leafy south west London suburb of Kew that was home to a vast collection of bikes, believed to have once belonged to the Kew Transport Museum.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.