A bicycle theft crime spree that has swept across Hemel Hempstead has led to police urging cyclists not to leave their bikes unattended.
Since May 1 police have received 16 reports of bikes being stolen in the town, the majority of which were taken from gardens or driveways during the late evening or overnight.
The thefts happened in:
> Hill Common and High Street overnight between April 30 and May 1
> Haleswood Road on May 1
> Hill Common on May 11
> Masons Road on May 14
> Bennetts Gate on May 13
> Alexandra Road overnight between May 16-17
> Washington Avenue on May 19
> Elstree Road on May 23
> Hatfield Crescent between May 28-29
> Alexandra Road between May 30 and June 1
> Gamis Place on June 3
> Redbourn Road between May 25 and June 3
> Marlowes on June 4
> Riverbank, Piccotts End overnight between June 4-5
> Barley Croft on June 8
So far, a 16-year-old boy from Hemel Hempstead has been arrested in connection with a theft of pedal cycle on May 19. He has been bailed until June 12.
Neighbourhood sergeant Adele Hopkin said: “In many of these cases, opportunist thieves have been taking bikes which have been left unlocked in gardens or on driveways.
“I would therefore urge people to make sure they leave their bikes out of sight by securing them inside a shed or garage wherever possible.
“I would also encourage bike owners to make sure they take photos of their bikes and get them security marked and registered on the free online property database www.immobilise.com
“That way, if your bike does get stolen, you have more chance of it being returned to you.”
Anyone with information about the bike thefts is asked to contact the Safer Neighbourhood Team on non-emergency number 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Herts Police is offering the following advice to help keep your bikes secure:
> Never leave your bike unlocked - even if you’re just popping into a shop;
> Use two forms of lock, such as a D-lock plus a chain or padlock;
> Check that the bicycle cannot be lifted off the object to which it’s secured;
> Remove any quick release wheels or saddles and take them away;
> Register your bike on www.immobilise.com, a free online property database which police use to check stolen property. That way, if your bike does get stolen, you have more chance of it being returned to you.
For more information on Immobilise, property marking or general crime prevention visit our website at www.herts.police.uk or call the police non-emergency number 101.