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Spate of high-value bicycle thefts across New Forest prompts online sales warning

POLICE issued a warning to cyclists after a spate of expensive bicycle thefts across the New Forest.

Local officers have noticed a trend in bikes worth thousands of pounds being targeted recently in raids on sheds and garages.

Twenty-six of these have taken place since November in areas including New Milton, Lymington, Ringwood and Fordingbridge.

The value of bicycles stolen in raids on sheds and garages across the New Forest ranges from £2,000 to £7,000
The value of bicycles stolen in raids on sheds and garages across the New Forest ranges from £2,000 to £7,000

Ranging from £2,000-£7,000 in value, two or three at a time have been stolen on some occasions, with Cube, Specialized, Bianchi and Cannondale among the makes.

Today (Tuesday) a 16-year-old from Totton was arrested on suspicion of burglary following a high-end bicycle theft in Pennington the night before.

Residents in Corbin Road spotted a silver Nissan fleeing the scene at about 11.30pm. A vehicle matching the description was spotted in Shakespeare Drive in Totton and the teenager was found and detained.

New Forest Insp. Darren Ord said: “We know how distressing burglary can be for victims, especially when it is cherished items or items of considerable personal value.

“Yet it is not just simply a case of those prized possessions being stolen, with that comes the emotional and mental impact that a burglary can have on people – often leaving them feeling unsafe in their own homes.”

He continued: “Our officers provide support as part of our ongoing response to the incidents that are reported to us; hence why it is vital that if anyone sees anything suspicious that they report it to us.

“It allows our officers to build up an intelligence picture in the local area, meaning we can dedicate resources with a view to preventing offending before it has occurred.”

Officers believe it is likely a number of the bikes will be sold via online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or eBay, and have urged people to be alert to suspicious sales.

Those who see such high-value bikes advertised at knockdown prices or with very limited detail are advised to “err on the side of caution” as they may be buying stolen property.

Instead, they should report any suspicious activity online at bit.ly/3gKRnY9 or by calling 101 so officers can investigate whether particular bikes match descriptions and images of those stolen.

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