Cops puncture cycle theft ring

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POLICE in Doncaster are mounting extra patrols in a bid to stick a spoke in the wheels of the town’s bike thieves.

The cycle squad is taking to the streets to urge owners to beef up their security to avoid having their bikes stolen.

The warning comes after 29-year-old Brian Roberts, of Bungalow Road, Edlington, was sentenced to 10 weeks in jail for stealing 29 bicycles from around the town centre.

The sentence was passed after a hearing at Doncaster Magistrates Court.

Two other men, aged 18 and 23 from Wheatley and Carcroft, have also been charged with theft of one bicycle each.

They have been bailed and are due to appear in court later this month.

Police said an increase in bike thefts had prompted the town’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams to conduct extra patrols in hot-spot areas, which resulted in the suspects being detained.

Other gangs believed to be operating in the town centre are also on the police radar and they hope to make further arrests in the near future.

The thieves have been using bolt croppers to cut through cycle security cables.

PC Chris Lindley, from the Town Centre Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: ”The cheaper bike chains are not good enough to prevent theft. It takes less time to cut through one than it does to put a key in and unlock it.

“The thieves also make sure they take the cut chains with them so it looks like they are the owners, so as not to arouse the suspicion of passers-by.”

Pc Lindley said the increase in the number of bike thefts was seasonal because more people use their bikes during warmer weather.

Second-hand shops in Doncaster are constantly being checked for stolen bikes and police are also making regular visits to car boot sales to see if the stolen machines are being sold on.

“We also advise people to be careful about who they buy second-hand bikes from because there is a strong possibility the genuine owner will collar them while they are riding it and then they will lose it.

“The best piece of advice we can give is not to scrimp and save on a bike lock - the D-locks seem to be the strongest and hardest to cut.

Pc Lindley added; “I am pleased with this result and I want to reassure the public that we will continue with the extra patrols to prevent the theft of bikes.”