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Friday 17 January 2020

Gardaí seize over 100 bicycles worth €250,000

The stolen bikes Photo: An Garda Siochana
The stolen bikes Photo: An Garda Siochana
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Gardaí have seized over 100 bicycles worth €250,000 stacked in a shipping container which they believe were stolen in the Dublin area.

Officers from Pearse Street station conducted a search of the container at allotments in Newcastle, Co Dublin on Thursday morning.

In total 116 bicycles suspected to be stolen property were recovered.

“A search warrant was obtained by Gardaí from Pearse Street following ongoing investigations into the theft of bikes in the city centre,” said a garda spokeswoman.

“Dublin Fire Brigade assisted Gardaí in obtaining entry into a 40 foot container and located pedal cycles of all makes and models. All items in the container were seized pending further technical examination,” she added.

“It is estimated that the value of the items is approximately €250,000 owing to the uniqueness and specialisation of the bikes,” the garda spokeswoman explained.

Gardaí from the Street Crime Unit in Pearse Street will now be trying to identify the rightful owners of the bikes in due course.

Details of the models that are not returned to owners will be circulated via the media in the coming weeks to try and reunite all the owners with their bicycles.

Investigations into the thefts and storage are ongoing.

Bicycles are now high value items sometimes worth thousands of euro, and there has been a trend in thefts from sheds, streets and even from individual cyclists being targeted in remote areas such as canal paths and mountain roads.

Recently cyclists were warned to remain vigilant after reports of cyclists being attacked and having their bikes stolen on such popular Dublin cycling route.

Dublin Cycling Group said they have noticed a "pattern emerging" in bicycle thefts in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains.

In one incident a male cyclist was traveling alone when it is understood two men in a car drove at him and forced him into the ditch.

They got out of the car and took the man's bike, a red and white Trek 1.7, from the scene.

The cyclist received minor injuries during the incident.

"There seems to be a bit of a pattern emerging," a Dublin Cycling Group spokesperson told the Herald.

"Ripping someone off a bike and into a ditch, with the bike being pulled off them, is a terrifying experience. They seem to be targeting people on high-end road bikes and then stealing their phones, maybe so they can't contact Gardai."

In September Gardai launched its ‘Lock It Or Lose It’ campaign aimed at educating cyclists about how to register the serial numbers of their bikes and lock them to fixed objects.

According to the Gardai 14,000 bikes worth in the region of €2m have been stolen since 2016.

More than 80pc of the thefts were in four cities: Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick.

Gardai advise the use of two locks on two sections of the bike and attach to an immovable object.

"Take photos of your bike and record the serial number underneath the frame. Then, register it at bikeregister.ie, and if it is recovered, it will feature on the Garda Flickr page - thousands are auctioned off, or destroyed because they can't be matched to owners,” a garda spokesperson said at the launch of the initiative.

The average cost of a bike stolen is around €510. The most common time for a bike to be stolen is during the hours of 8am and 5pm, with Friday being statistically the most common day for bikes to be stolen.

Gardai advise that cyclists spend 10pc to 20pc of the value of their bike on two locks.

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