02:31PM, Friday 27 May 2016
Cyclists in Windsor have been urged to be vigilant as bikes worth thousands of pounds continue to be stolen in daring broad daylight heists.
Thames Valley Police (TVP) say bike theft has become a ‘real problem’ in the town with the force recovering hundreds each month which have been stolen from racks, sheds and garages from across the town.
Thieves have been stealing the bikes with disguised tactics and TVP’s community engagement officer Jeff Pick says cyclists should use as many as three locks to protect their treasured possessions.
Jeff told the Express newspaper: “Because we have so many bikes in the town centre people are going out with backpacks armed with bolt croppers.
“The backpack has a hole in the bottom and they rest it on the bike and pretend to rummage around but they’re actually going to work on the locks.
“This could be going on just two or three feet away from people and they wouldn’t suspect a thing.”
Jeff advised that locks should be placed on different parts of the bike and they should also be secured in busy areas, preferably under a CCTV camera.
Hundreds of recovered bikes currently lie unclaimed at Windsor Police Station because TVP is often not given enough information by the people when bikes go missing to then reunite them with their owners when they are found.
And Jeff called on cyclists to include key information including model, make, colour and frame number when reporting stolen bikes.
Owners should also take photographs of their bikes to help easily identify them if they are recovered by police.
Jeff added: “There must be 200-odd bikes at the station at the moment and we want to return them to their owners.”
Cllr Malcolm Beer (Old Windsor Residents Association, Old Windsor), a member of the borough’s cycle forum, also warned cyclists against being complacent in the face of increased thefts.
He added: “It’s an escalating problem and it’s very worrying indeed.”
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