5 December 2011

Is your bike stolen? That’s the question police in Norwich will be asking cyclists as part of a clampdown on rising thefts.

More than 800 bikes, collectively worth an estimated £204,750, have been stolen in Norwich since the beginning of the year.

Officers from the Norwich Intelligence Unit believe many stolen bikes are still in the area, with culprits suspected of selling them on for a fraction of their real value.

Norwich Chief Inspector Dennis Lacey said: “Intelligence we’ve gathered through analysis of recent offences gives us reason to believe there is a strong possibility that bikes which are stolen in Norwich are sold on locally.

“We suspect thieves are selling the bikes on to friends or associates for between £10 and £20, a remarkably reduced price considering many of the bikes are worth around £500.”

Operation Fusion, running throughout December, will see officers stopping anyone with a bike who they believe to be suspicious and asking for proof of ownership. Anyone who fails to do so could have their bike seized and face arrest if it is stolen.

Ch Insp Lacey added: “Quite often if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. So anyone thinking of buying a bike this Christmas should buy one from a reputable trader, if not you could find police knocking on your door.”

During the campaign officers will also be checking racks to make sure bikes are being left locked and secured.

Cyclists can take simple steps to help avoid them becoming a victim of crime by recording and registering your cycle model, make and frame number and property marking the item.

Other advice includes:

  • Invest in a quality lock – hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended. 
  • Lock your cycle through the frame and secure removable parts. 
  • Always lock your cycle, even if you are only gone for a couple of minutes. 
  • Make the lock hard for a thief to manoeuvre and face the lock to the ground. 
  • At home, keep your cycle in a secure garage, shed or inside your home.

Anyone with information about bike thefts or anyone who has been offered a bike for sale at a reduced price should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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