Warning Over Wimbledon Cycle Thefts

Police issue security advice

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Police in Wimbledon are warning cyclists to pay attention to security after 13 bikes were stolen in 12 weeks.

Most of the thefts have been from the town centre, and there have been three arrests over the 12-week period.

Two youths remain on police bail after they were found walking down Kingston Road with a pair of bolt croppers tucked down the back of one of their trousers. Police say bolt croppers are commonly used to cut through cable locks.

The third arrest was a man who was found with a cycle that had been stolen in the town centre in the past three weeks.

Police have issued the following advice to cyclists:

LOCKS

First and foremost it is important to emphasise that the best way to reduce the risk of bike theft is to invest in a substantial bike lock, there are many different types available on the market, but D-locks and heavy chain locks are particularly strong and will help reduce the risk of bike theft. For further advice see www.soldsecure.com.

LOCKING YOUR BIKE

It is important when locking your bike that any removable parts, i.e. wheels, saddles etc, are either removed or secured with the bike, and most importantly make sure the main frame is secured to whichever locking point you are using. Any locks use you use should not be allowed to trail on the floor as this will aid any thief in attempting to break the lock. When you secure the bike, make sure that it is locked in such a way that any movement is limited making it hard for anyone to position it to facilitate cutting the lock.

When choosing your locking point it is important to secure the bike to an immovable object or stand, preferably a designated cycle stand covered by CCTV. It is also worth bearing in mind that if you avoid locking your bike in an isolated and dimly lit location, you limit any opportunities for potential thieves.

When locking your bike to a lamppost or sign, consider the height and assess whether it would be possible for someone to lift the bike and lock over the top in order to steal it.

BIKE IDENTIFICATION

It is important to make note of any serial numbers or unique features of your bike to make it easy to trace or identify in the event it is stolen, and you can also register your cycle with a bike marking scheme online such as www.immobilise.com . It is quite common for police to recover stolen bikes where we are unable to re-unite it with an owner as the bike has not been registered and quite often because the owner has not reported the theft to police in the first place.

Reporting stolen bikes not only helps us with restoring it to the owner but it can also provide us with valuable information which can assist us in tackling bike theft on the streets. Companies such as SELECTAMARK provide online marking schemes. If you have a particulary expensive or unique bike consider taking a picture of it which in the unfortunate event of it being can be supplied to your local safer neighbourhoods team to aid them in their attempts to reunite you with it.  

PURCHASING BIKES ONLINE

When purchasing bikes online from private sellers it is important to ask yourself a question, is the sale price too good to be true? If so then there is a possibility that the bike is stolen! Find out how much the bike is worth first and then compare that with the asking price.

September 20, 2011