Police act after burglars target bike sellers

February 28 2020

THREE teenagers have been arrested after people selling bikes and motorbikes online were targeted for burglaries.

The boys – 16 year olds from Staple Hill and St George and a 17 year old from Speedwell – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle in coordinated raids by police.

Officers from the anti-burglary Operation Remedy said the teenagers had been arrested on December 19, in connection with a "significant number" of bicycle and motorbike thefts across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and B&NES over the past year.

A police spokesperson said: "Officers believe online selling sites and social media platforms have been used to identify high value bicycles and motor bikes for sale, whereby sellers have shared their address and details of their whereabouts with prospective buyers.

"The majority of the burglaries reported have occurred shortly after victims have disclosed these details and whilst they were away or at work."

Police seized 13 bikes, motorbikes and frames which they believe are stolen. They are now trying to identify them and reunite them with their rightful owners.

One of the 16-year-olds was later arrested and charged with two counts of theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of driving without a licence and two counts of driving without insurance, after two quad bikes and a motorbike were stolen in break-ins in Kingswood.

Two boys from Kingswood, one aged 14 and one 15, were also arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and have been released under investigation.

Inspector Andy Peppin, of Operation Remedy, said: "Nearly all of the thefts have occurred following the victims sharing their address and movements with individuals
they believed to be interested in buying their bikes.

“I cannot advise members of the public strongly enough to never disclose any personal details – particularly your home address and movements – when attempting to sell bikes or other belongings online."

Police are also advising sellers not to share bank details, to only meet potential buyers in a "neutral" location, ideally with CCTV or a public location.

They are also reminding bike owners to keep them locked, preferably in a secure storage place, to get them securely marked and registered and to record the frame number and any distinguishing features.

The items seized are: A blue Carrera Zelos JR frame; a black Forme hybrid bicycle; a white Freespirit Albany bike; a green Giant Brass frame; a silver Giant XTC frame; a black Maxxis dirt bike; a silver Pitbike; a motorbike topbox; a yellow Planet X London Road SL bike; a turquoise Saracen mountain bike; a black Specialized Crosstrail frame; a grey Specialized Crosstrail bike; a black Trek 4300 frame; a blue Trek mountain bike; a black Trek X-Caliber 7 bike.

Some of the stolen bikes recovered by police