Police in Peterborough are warning people to beware of “bike cannibals” who strip the parts from locked-up bikes – and are advising cyclists to carry parts around with them to avoid falling victim to the thieves.
According to Peterborough Today, there were 798 reported bike thefts in the city in the year to January 2014 – an average of more than two a day, and the figure has risen higher still to around 900 bicycles in the latest year.
Besides providing advice to cyclists such as using two locks and ensuring bikes are left in well-lit, public areas, they are also advising riders, “Where possible take all removable and quick release parts with you.”
But Sam Jones, campaigns co-ordinator at national cycling charity CTC, told Peterborough Today that the issue of cannibalisation of bikes for parts highlighted the need for secure parking facilities.
She said: “For many the risk of theft can be enough to put people off making short cycling journeys, such as to work or the shops.
“Secure bike parking is particularly important. This saves cyclists from the added burden of having to remove vital bike bits such as the saddle or handlebars every time they leave their wheels for a long period of time.”
Bikes stripped of parts are a familiar sight in cities everywhere, and have even given rise to a blog, Halfstolenbike.com, founded by a New York City-based bike theft victim, that combines pictures of them with haiku poetry.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.