A man has already been arrested and charged with stealing a bike from Fleming Park as cops in Eastleigh crackdown on bike thefts in the area.
The arrest was part of ‘Operation Stag’, an initiative launched in response to a growing number of bike thefts over the last three months.
Between April and mid July there have been 80 bike thefts in the area. A large number were in Eastleigh town centre.
Police say they have a two pronged attack. One is to target the thieves taking the bikes and get them arrested and charged the second is to educate people on how to keep their cycles more secure.
PC Rob Thomas said:
“Some of the bikes been taken are worth quite a bit of money with one of the most recent taken from Rapide Close, Eastleigh being worth around £1100. These thefts are leaving a lot of people out of pocket.
Over 50 percent of cycles stolen from sheds were left insecure. It really is a case of lock it or lose it.
The good news is we can help with that as we now have some gold standard ‘D’ locks available at a discount price of £20. Anyone who wants one can come to the front office at Eastleigh Police Station and buy one.
We’ll also be out and about offering cycle coding and the electronic ’Get It logged’ scheme where people can get their bike and other items such as electrical goods logged on a national database so if “they are stolen and found they can be returned to their rightful owner more easily.”
As part of the detection side of the operation police will be carrying out more high visibility and plain clothed patrols in the prime locations in order to disrupt the tactics used by the thieves offenders and to catch them and bring them to justice.
Officers are also working closely with British Transport Police in identifying cycle thieves who target their stations.
They are asking the pubic too to be more vigilant calling in suspicious incidents around cycles.
The police have close contact with second hand outlets including car boot sales and are are working with shop owners and event organiser to make sure stolen bikes aren’t being sold unwittingly through them. They also have similar contacts with many of the main websites that sell second-hand items.
Eastleigh police say ” If you are offered a bike at a price too good to be true, it probably is and may be stolen”.
Anyone in the Eastleigh area who suspects they may have been offered a stolen bike for sale is asked to contact Eastleigh Police on 101 or call Crimsetoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Eastleigh police will be holding a ‘PACT’ community forum tonight at Barton Peveril starting 7pm.
Local residents are invited to come along and discuss any concerns with their local beat bobbies.