Police warn of big increase in bike thefts

RYE police are warning cyclists to be on their guard following a dramatic increase of bike thefts in the Rother area.

Rye police sergeant Warren Downs said: “We want to advise bike owners of some simple precautions they can take to secure their bikes.

“When buying a bike, budget for security. You will need one or more locks and somewhere secure at home to keep your bike.

“Record and register your bike. Take a clear colour photograph of your bike and make a written record of its description, including any unique features, so that you can report it accurately if it is stolen – this will help prove it is yours if it is recovered by the police. Add an additional security mark or tag to your bike, this will again make it easier to identify as yours.

“Always lock your bicycle, even if you are just leaving it for a couple of minutes. Think about using two different types of lock and lock both wheels and the frame of your bike to the bike stand or other immovable object.

“Make sure you don’t buy a stolen bike. By buying a stolen bike you are helping to support the illegal trade in bikes – the next stolen bike to be bought could be yours! Do what you can to check it is from a legitimate outlet, and that they are sure it is not stolen. If it seems suspiciously cheap, ask yourself why. You may be able to check the ownership of a bike you intend to purchase by searching a property register such as Immobilise, or asking for proof of purchase or ownership.

“Don’t create a market in which thieves can operate. If no one bought stolen bikes there would be no reason to steal them.”

Inspector James Scott, of Rother Police, said: “I would really encourage cycle owners to follow the advice given above in order to make it as hard as possible for thieves operating in our area.

“I would also ask people to make sure they buy bicycles from legitimate outlets, and if purchasing them from a private seller ownership of the bicycle is checked. I must point out that if a bicycle that has been purchased is later found to be stolen then it will be seized by police.”

If you think you are being offered a stolen bike call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For more information visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.