Thousands of pounds of rewards on offer for dozens of stolen bikes
Thousands of pounds of rewards are on offer across the Black Country and Staffordshire as dozens of bikes have been stolen.
Money has been put up for almost 30 bikes that have been taken over the last two years, including one by robbery in Wolverhampton when a child was kicked off of his bike.
Desperate cyclists are taking to a website advertising rewards for stolen bikes in a bid to recover their machines, offering up to £500.
Walsall and Cannock have had the most bikes, six each, stolen, including a Yamaha Aerox – which was stolen from a driveway and a KTM 625 SMC, that had just been taken out of the shed so the rider could go to work.
The highest reward of £500 is for a stolen Cube Stereo 160 SL HPA Hybrid, which was taken from the Cannock area.
A Specialized Enduro Expert was one of the bikes that was stolen from the Stafford area, it has since been recovered when it was found on a bid to sell on Facebook and eBay, there are still four bikes in the area waiting to be found.
Wolverhampton has seen four people fall victim to bike theft, whilst Smethwick, West Bromwich and Dudley have each had two stolen and there was one theft from a secure cycle hub at Stourbridge train station.
The website called Stolen Bikes allows people to post a description of the bike they had stolen, alongside any useful details, such as time and date of the incident.
A blue VooDoo Hoodoo was stolen from PureGym car park in Birmingham New Road in Wolverhampton, a black Pioneer was taken from a driveway in Dudley and a black Trek 2.1 Hybrid was stolen from outside the post office in St.Paul’s Road in Smethwick, just in the last three months.
The robbery of the bike in Wolverhampton took place in Cleveland Street in May 2016. It was alleged the user was kicked off of his bike by a teenager who then stole it.
A £1,199 Giant Contend bicycle was stolen from a shop in Wolverhampton and a mountain bike worth £2,500 and another two bikes have reportedly gone missing in the area.
Mike Williams, manager at Fred Williams Cycles in Snow Hill says bikes go missing and get damaged every week. Mr Williams said: “If it’s not stolen, it could be damaged. We often get people buying seatposts and a saddle because the bikes locked up but the seatpost and the saddle has been pinched off the bike.
“They pinch components off, it’s impossible to secure the bike totally and we just warn everyone to get the best lock they can if they’re leaving it.
“It’s best not to leave it. Whenever anyone comes in and buys a new bike we always say never leave it in Wolverhampton City Centre even with the best lock.”
Surprisingly bikes are not even safe on a train, one user posted that his bike was taken from a train when it stopped at Smethwick Galton Bridge station.
Whilst most cyclists complained of their bike being taken from a locked garage or shed, one poster had his car broken in to at Cannock Chase.
Mr Williams added: “A lot of bikes are being stolen out of sheds, so I would recommend that people lock the bike in the shed, as well as lock the shed to keep it secure.”
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “We are tackling cycle crime across the region, and our neighbourhood policing teams are working with partner agencies to prevent people becoming victims.
“Across the West Midlands area we have relationships with universities, councils, the combined authority and British Transport Police, as well as our own efforts to combat this type of offending.
“We work with the Secured by Design approved Bike Register to register bikes and re-unite them with their legitimate owners should they get stolen.
“All officers and staff can download the Bike Register app to their mobile devices. The app allows police to check bikes that they come across.
“It also enables people to check the frame number of a bike, for example if it is for sale second-hand to make sure it has not been stolen. The database holds over 700,000 registered cycles.”