Italian bike manufacturer Pinarello was last week hit by a double burglary at its showroom in Treviso, masked thieves taking 19 bikes worth a total of €250,000 during two separate raids on the same day.
According to local newspaper La Tribuna di Treviso the double burglary happened on Thursday at Pinarello's site just outside the Veneto city, a large headquarters that is home to a showroom and the company's administrative offices.
At around 3am the thieves arrived in a van and cut through a fence to access an emergency exit leading to a workshop, the three men hooded and wearing gloves, to avoid leaving fingerprints, taking 12 bicycles worth €150,000 during the three-minute raid.
It is believed the burglary was highly organised and well-planned due to the men targeting high-value models and knowing exactly where in the showroom to access them.
By the time the police arrived the three men and a getaway driver had fled the scene, but returned later at 11pm to steal a further seven bikes worth €100,000. Once again, the gang forced open the emergency exit to the workshop, police now investigating surveillance footage from the site.
The value of high-end bicycles has made them an increasingly attractive target for organised criminals, Romanian police in 2021 recovering 21 of the 22 Italian track cycling team's bicycles that were stolen from a hotel car park during the UCI Track Cycling World Championships of that year.
Filippo Ganna's gold Pinarello was among the haul, worth an estimated £500,000, which also included the fellow newly-crowned team pursuit world champions Liam Bertazzo, Jonathan Milan and Simone Consonni's bikes, each worth £25,000 and featuring a titanium 3D-printed handlebar alone worth £8,500.
In December 2021, two teenagers were sentenced to 18 months in prison for their role in the crime.
A few months later, in February of last year, organised criminals allegedly used sleeping gas to incapacitate the driver of an HGV transporting a large number of Shimano components across Germany, the heist seeing components for 10,000 bicycles stolen.
Following the incident the largest Czech-based bicycle producer BIKE FUN International (BFI) warned the bike industry that components could be a new target for organised crime.
Professional cycling teams have also been targeted, leading Women's WorldTour outfit SD Worx the victims of a "brutal burglary" at the end of the 2022 season which saw Specialized Tarmac, Roubaix and Shiv models stolen.
In August, a Staffordshire-based elite mountain biker said he had even gone to the lengths of hiring a private investigator to follow up leads after accusing the police of failing to properly look into a burglary that saw £45,000 of his bikes stolen.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.