Padlock to keep bicycle thieves at bayBy Becky Barnes
November 13, 2012
Bicycle thefts have more than doubled across Bracknell Forest since the beginning of September compared to the same period last year.
Cyclists are being urged to lock up their bikes with at least one ‘good quality’ padlock after a spate of thefts.
Forty-four bikes have been swiped in the borough since September 1, compared to 21 stolen from September to October 2011.
Bracknell PC Jon Morris said all the six bike thefts on his patch, Bullbrook, could have been prevented by decent padlocks.
He said: “The majority of incidents are when bikes are left unlocked in communal stairwells or outside shops and thieves walked into a couple of places and just walked away with the bike.”
Four bicycles were reported stolen from the underground car park of Canterville Place, Mount Lane, near the town centre and two from a communal stairwell at Perry Oaks, near the Running Horse pub roundabout in the last two months.
PC Morris is urging bike owners to invest in security as he says the majority of incidents are committed by opportunist thieves who see unsecured bikes as an easy steal.
He said: “To reduce the risk of your bike being stolen, ensure you always secure it with at least one good quality padlock.
“If you have to leave it in a public bike rack – in the town, at a railway station or at a college – it is advisable to use two different locks.
“It greatly helps police identify a cycle as being stolen and arrange for its return to the loser if it has had its postcode engraved in to the frame.”
Police were able to return a ‘reasonably expensive’ mountain bike stolen from Bracknell and Wokingham College to its owner, as they had engraved the postcode.
Despite the thief’s attempt to file the postcode off, the police have ‘cunning’ ways of forensically recovering the mark.
PC Morris said: “Our scientific checking helped us identify the owner, but we get a lot of bikes in lost and found but nobody seems to come and get them.”
The policeman estimated there are ‘around three dozen’ unclaimed bikes at a time in storage at Bracknell Police Station.
He said: “If they had a postcode on we could return to the owner.”
The bikes take up a lot of space at the station and by law the police have to keep lost property for six weeks.
After that the finder can apply to have it back or the lost property is cleared out.
PC Morris added the police regularly run free bike marking sessions.