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Police in clampdown after 152 bike thefts
12:00pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in Local News
POLICE have launched a clampdown after 152 bikes were stolen across Southend within six months.
Officers are focusing on Shoebury and Southchurch, where most have gone missing. Many were left unlocked.
PC Pierre Guilcher, of Shoebury police, said: “Cyclists will be stopped, and bikes checked with the cycle tagging reader against our crime records to see if it’s a stolen machine. If it’s genuine, we give security advice and advise when tagging events are.”
He said they had tagged 28 bikes since the end of August – raising the chances of stolen cycles being returned..
PC Guilcher said they did not yet know where the stolen bikes were going, but enquiries suggested they were not being sold for scrap.
Police have regularly checked the scrap metal dealers in the area.
He said: “We also check second hand dealers. We always circulate stolen bike details to them, so they will give us a call if they’ve been offered one.”
Earlier this month, John Chaplin was jailed for stealing £1,550 of bikes from railway stations. He had concealed a pair of bolt-cutters in his rucksack before targeting bike sheds at Benfleet and Leigh .
He was eventually caught after British Transport Police launched an investigation, which included watching hours of CCTV.
Chaplin, 58, of Ryedene Close, Vange, admitted four counts of theft and was jailed for six months.
lIf you spot suspicious behaviour near station cycle racks, or have any information about cycle crime on the railway, contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040. Cycle theft elsewhere should be reported to Essex Police on 101.
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