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Exeter hit by bike thefts

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

By Anne Byrne

  • From the beginning of September last year until now 165 bikes have been taken

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CITY police are urging extra security for bicycles after £60,000 worth have been stolen in just four months.

From the beginning of September last year until now 165 bikes have been taken, with police saying they will either have been sold on eBay, sold locally or been stripped and broken up for parts.

Sgt Morris Elphick, responsible for policing in the west of the city, said: "The 165 bikes are just those which have been reported to the police.

"They have been taken mainly from around Polsloe, which has a lot of student accommodation, and from the city centre because there are lots of people using bikes there.

"A quarter of those taken have not been locked at all and only 10 per cent had their frame number recorded.

"We are therefore urging cyclists to do more to make sure their bikes are secure."

As a rule of thumb Sgt Elphick says that 10 per cent of the cycle budget should be spent on a lock.

He said: "If you spend £80 on a lock, which may seem a lot, you are unlikely to have your bike stolen.

"The D locks are the most secure, and if you can use two different types of locks, such as a D lock and a chain, that would make it even more secure – thieves would have to carry two different tools to try to steal the bike."

Sgt Elphick's warnings have been underlined by Richard Wiseman of Richard's Bikes in Pinhoe Road, who said people should always lock up their bike.

Mr Wiseman said: "The trouble is people just don't want to spend the money on locks. It is understandable just now when people are a bit skint, but then if they don't, they lose the bike."

Bicycles can range in price from £100 to £10,000, but Mr Wiseman says the average spend is about £500.

And to make the bike more secure he suggests: "If you can get it into your home it is best to do that, rather than leaving it propped up against the wall outside.

"If you can't get it inside, secure it to something which has a ground anchor, or iron fencing, something which makes it difficult to remove."

Marking the bike with an ultraviolet pen is also useful.

Mr Wiseman said: "Sometimes they swap bits of stolen bikes from bike to bike so it is difficult to identify.

"If you have marked the parts they will be identifiable. You can also data tag the bike by putting a chip in the frame."

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