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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Barrow police crackdown recovers bikes worth more than £8k

POLICE are cracking down on criminals stealing bikes after a spate of thefts.

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HAUL: Stolen bikes recovered by police in a crackdown on thieves. Superintendent Mark Pannone, right, has warned Strava users to check their settings, as the phone app is being used by thieves to locate cycles

Officers on patrol are regularly stopping and checking cyclists, which has resulted in a number of arrests.

In recent weeks, six warrants have been executed, eight men have been arrested on suspicion of theft and six bikes recovered, valued at more than £8,000.

In the early hours of December 7, a 31-year-old Barrow man was arrested in connection with the theft of a bicycle from Broughton, and is on bail.

In a separate incident, Kevin Cotter, 46, of High Lea Walk, Barrow, was arrested after a bike that was stolen on December 1 at Furness College.

He was charged with theft and also bailed.

The other six men are all from Barrow and have not been named.

Sergeant Ian McClymont, of Barrow police, said: “Many of the cycles that are being stolen are of high value. People do leave them unlocked and, sadly, they are stolen very quickly.

“Simple crime prevention measures will reduce the opportunities for thieves to steal cycles.

“The fact that people are spending a lot of money on these bikes should encourage them to invest in a lock to make sure that it is secure and make it difficult for thieves to steal it.”

Carlos Fisher, 26, had a £2,000 hand-built bicycle stolen from outside Tesco, in Hindpool Road, on December 3.

He said: “I had some expensive parts on that bike and to think that some dirty little thief hanging around has taken it is so frustrating.

“I would say make sure your bikes are locked, the person who took mine must have been watching because I only left it for a minute.”

Barrow police will be involved in an initiative to encourage Cumbrians to have their bikes marked.

Sgt McClymont added: “Our proactive work will continue. Having your bike marked may not prevent it from being stolen, but it will assist in its identification and, if stolen, its recovery and return to its rightful owner.

“There is clearly a market for cycles, and we intend to make it uncomfortable for thieves to operate.

“The arrests that we have made should reduce the number of cycles being stolen.”

Anyone with any information on bike theft, or who knows who may have a bike that has been stolen, should contact Barrow police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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