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Police warn of bike theft spate at popular holiday destination as five "high-end" bicycles stolen in two weeks

The most recent incident saw an £8,000 mountain bike stolen from the back of a holidaymaker's van...

Police in Gloucestershire have warned cyclists holidaying in the Forest of Dean about a spate of bike thefts, with five "high-end bicycles being stolen during the last two weeks".

The warning comes after the most recent incident saw a holidaymaker woken up to the sound of his van being broken into, with a Santa Cruz Megatower mountain bike worth £8,000 stolen from the vehicle.

Thieves have hit holiday sites in Lydney and Coleford, taking bikes during the night by cutting through locks or breaking into vehicles.

Inspector Nick Cook said: "We are proud that the Forest attracts so many visitors and holidaymakers, with many wanting to make use of the numerous bike trails.

"However, people still need to be vigilant, even if they are on a holiday park, as thieves will be opportunistic and can strike anywhere.

"We're advising people to keep their bike safe and to make sure they use D-locks and to give their property the best protection."

Last week, we reported that a Staffordshire-based mountain biker had suffered the loss of £45,000 worth of bicycles in a shocking burglary.

> Elite mountain biker who had £45k of bikes stolen hires private eye – but is frustrated that police haven't followed up leads he gave them

Damian Groves, known in mountain biking circles as Dogman and sponsored by Niner Bikes, has even hired a private investigator after being left frustrated by the police's response.

"We're not talking about minor crime here," he said. “We're talking about a huge [one]. I've provided the police with all this intel and they've just done nothing."

Mr Groves had heard from a friend who had explained how a third-party had been offered the bikes by two individuals. "I told the police that," he continued. "They admitted to me that those people were known to the police already but could not say what for.

"We then shared a post on social media on Instagram. That post went viral and somebody said they had got my bikes and, cutting a long story short, extorted £300 out of me that night. I reported this to the police."

It was then that Mr Groves hired the services of a private investigator and was also alerted on social media to one of his bikes being offered for sale abroad.

Damian Groves rips the RIP 9 RDO 0-9 screenshot

"I got a message from a man in Hungary saying 'I saw your Instagram post. I believe I've spotted one of your bikes for sale'. I immediately told my private investigator and the police. It was an advert from Poland.

"They traced the name to an address in Leicestershire. So the PI had a drone in the air and you can match the background of where my bike is advertised to this garden in Leicestershire. I then gave all this to the police, I've been passed back and forth. Based on other intel, my bikes are due to be sold in Poland on the 20th, so they're probably on their way there now.

"All I keep getting from the police is 'were the bikes insured?' I have run out of funds for the PI. I'm a normal guy, I haven't got endless pockets. The way the law works, these criminals know the chances are slim that they will get caught. That is a shitshow that shows what the state of the country we are in right now.

"You hand the police all this information, and I don't think it's that the police aren't interested. I just think they haven't got the power and the system is just no good. It has broken me."

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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Sriracha | 11 months ago

Still, as long as no one is snitching on them.

hutchdaddy replied to Sriracha | 11 months ago

Yeah! Dirty rotten grasses.

Pub bike | 11 months ago

Presumably the police have put up some of those helpful notices saying "Thieves operating in this area" which really mean "Police can't be bothered policing this area".

Rendel Harris replied to Pub bike | 11 months ago

Pub bike wrote:

Presumably the police have put up some of those helpful notices saying "Thieves operating in this area" which really mean "Police can't be bothered policing this area".

A former police officer of my acquaintance once compared those signs to going to a restaurant and finding a sign on the door from the hygiene inspectors saying "Filthy place, you might get food poisoning here. Don't say we didn't warn you."


ROOTminus1 | 11 months ago
1 like

This is a call to get to know your fellow campers when on site. If someone's looking shifty around bikes in the late evening, a hard-standing peg will easily puncture a tyre of the thieves van.

GMBasix replied to ROOTminus1 | 11 months ago
1 like

Yep, get to know those around you on camp for all sorts of good reasons.

But I'm not sure the subsequent thoughts are worth having.  I'm not about to sabotage somebody's vehicle unless I'm absolutely certain they need detaining and that's the only, reasonable way to do it.  For two reasons:

  1. without those caveats (and possibly even with them), I'm pretty sure it amounts to criminal damage;
  2. if somebody has come on to a campsite, having targeted a high-end bike and come equipped to take it, how much do I want to keep them from leaving my presence... long-arm bolt-cropper vs a tent peg that's now stuck in their tyre... that's a tiger's tail I would really need to grab hold of!

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