Cycle theft warning

POLICE are urging cyclists to take security precautions when leaving their bikes following a spate of thefts.

Since August 29, there have been 15 bikes stolen in Fenland towns, including Wisbech, March, Whittlesey and Chatteris.

Over the weekend, two were stolen from outside Ingleberry caravan site in Osborne Road, Wisbech, two from the front garden of a home in Southwell Road, Wisbech, and another from a shed at a home in Dartford Road, March.

Many of the bikes stolen were left unsecured outside shops or in gardens.

Crime reduction officer Julie Hanrahan said: “It only takes a few minutes for a bike to be ridden away by a thief so my message would be, ‘If you value it, lock it, don’t lose it’.

“More than half of all bicycle thefts take place at the owner’s property. Simple crime prevention methods can lessen the chance of having a bicycle stolen.

“It may seem like there are lots of things to think about when locking a bike but once you get into the habit you will be able to lock your bike within seconds and it will be well worth the trouble.”

Cyclists are urged to:

· Secure removable parts. Lock both wheels and the frame together. Take smaller parts and accessories that can be removed with tools with you.

· Make the lock (and chain, if used) and bike harder to manoeuvre when parked – to stop thieves smashing the lock open.

· Keep the lock (and/or chain) away from the ground.

· Keep the gap between the bike and lock small.

· Never leave the lock lying on the pavement – a lock can be sledge hammered easily when it is resting on the ground.

· Locks can also be picked, so face the lock towards the ground (but not resting on it) so it can’t easily be turned upwards for picking.

· Register you cycle for free at www.immobilise.com

· Keep a detailed description of the cycle, make, model, frame number, colour and any distinctive markings.

· Mark the bike using a clearly visible and secure marking in two separate places.

Anyone with information about bike theft should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.