Police have warned cyclists living in the New Forest to secure their bikes when leaving them in sheds and garages following a spate of thefts of high-value bicycles in the area in recent months.
Since November, there have been 26 reported thefts of bikes valued at between £2,000 and £7,000 in the area of the New Forest covered by Hampshire Constabulary, reports The Advertiser & Times.
Towns where thefts have happened include Fordinbridge, Lymington, New Milton and Ringwood, with bikes from brands including Bianchi, Cannondale, Cube and Specialized among the bikes stolen.
In some cases, more than one bike has been taken following a break-in, say officers, and last Tuesday police arrested a 16-year-old male from Totton following a burglary in Pennington.
A silver Nissan car was spotted by local residents being driven away from the scene of the burglary and was discovered by police at 11.30pm that evening on Shakespeare Drive in Totton, with the suspect subsequently detained.
Inspector Darren Ord of Hampshire Constabulary said: “We know how distressing burglary can be for victims, especially when it is cherished items or items of considerable personal value.
“Yet it is not just simply a case of those prized possessions being stolen, with that comes the emotional and mental impact that a burglary can have on people – often leaving them feeling unsafe in their own homes.
“Our officers provide support as part of our ongoing response to the incidents that are reported to us; hence why it is vital that if anyone sees anything suspicious that they report it to us,” he continued.
“It allows our officers to build up an intelligence picture in the local area, meaning we can dedicate resources with a view to preventing offending before it has occurred.”
Police believe that the thieves are using online platforms including eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree to sell the bikes they have stolen, and are asking people to be vigilant regarding sales listings that look suspicious.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.