VICTIMS of bicycle thieves are demanding a clampdown on the rising numbers of thefts in Dublin.
Tougher scrutiny of sales of stolen bikes is being sought as thefts spiral to more than 3,000 a year in the city.
Among the latest victims are a schoolboy and a teacher who both suffered at the hands of thieves in the past week.
Nicolas Arnold (15) was saving up for 18 months to buy a Giant racer bike to cycle between his home in Drumcondra Park and Mount Temple school. But a thief struck last Thursday night and stole it from outside his home.
Dee Martin, a lecturer at Kevin Street DIT College, said: "I had just bought my bike and thought it was safe locked in a bike rack in the college. But it's been stolen. I teach statistics but now I've become a statistic myself. It's a bad feeling."
The blatant sale of bicycles at prices low enough to give rise to suspicions of their origins needs to be subject to a crackdown, said victims.
Dr Edward Arnold, who reported the theft of his son Nicolas's bicycle, said gardai told him he should go to a market at North Cumberland Street in the inner city on Saturday mornings to see if his son's bike was being offered for sale.
"I never saw the likes of it in my life. A dozen to 20 young men were offering to sell very good bikes for €50 or €100. These were bikes worth €500 to €700 each," said Dr Arnold.
"It was the complete absence of gardai that surprised me. I feel the gardai should be doing more to monitor the sale of such bicycles," he said.
His son Nicolas said: "I had saved for so long to buy it. I was so surprised it was stolen. It was locked and hidden by a lavender bush at home. I'm angry and sad but I've learned a lesson in life."
He's now cycling his father's bicycle - "a cheap bike with an expensive lock".
Meanwhile, teacher Dee Martin, whose bike was stolen within days of being bought, said he had consciously selected a second-hand bike in the mistaken belief it would prove unattractive to thieves. "But whoever did it walked into the college grounds, broke my lock, and passed through a number of gates on the way out," said the lecturer.