Bikes stolen from supposedly secure Blackhall bike shed

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WHEN keen mountain biker Mike Irvine bought a specially designed lock-up for his bikes, he expected them to be secure.

After all, the steel structure was police, locksmith and insurance industry endorsed and it cost £850 in total to install – including bolting it to concrete groundworks.

The door of the industry-endorsed lock-up was forced open and Mr Irvine's mountain bike was stolen.

The door of the industry-endorsed lock-up was forced open and Mr Irvine's mountain bike was stolen.

But the chartered surveyor from Blackhall woke one morning to find bike thieves had simply snapped back the door and ridden away his £6,000 bikes.

“They’re sold as virtually impenetrable, they’re police approved and insurance approved – but where there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Mr Irvine, 46.

“Probably what’s of interest to the public is how easy these things are to break into. People have expensive bikes in these things. They put bikes worth £6-7,000 in them and think they’re secure but look how easily thieves broke into mine.

“They basically put crowbars in the two ends, popped the metal and the door just fell away.”

Mr Irvine's two bikes were taken

Mr Irvine's two bikes were taken

Mr Irvine paid £450 for the shed and a further £400 to get it installed in his back garden, assuming it would keep the thieves at bay.

“There was groundwork done,” he recalled.

“They put a concrete base down, then slabs and then bolted it into the slabs.

“These expensive bikes are like modern-day jewellery to thieves,” he added. “Twenty years ago, or whatever, a lot of jewellery was taken because it was easy to steal and easy to resell.

“These bikes can be worth £3,000 each and people will be putting them into these 
things.

“Mountain biking is my main hobby so it’s a real inconvenience to have to replace them. They’re insured but I’ll have to pay now to put them in secure off-site storage.”

Mike has been left to put in an insurance claim while the shed firm offered to repair the damaged shed after he complained.

“The offer to give me a quote to replace the door is something only a fool would offer – replace it so it can be broken into again. No thanks.”

The Evening News contacted the Bradford-based firm for comment but received no reply.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh are investigating following a break-in to a container within the garden of a home in Columba Road.

“The incident happened some time overnight between Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October and resulted in two high-value mountain bikes being stolen.

“Inquiries to trace the bikes and identify those responsible are ongoing.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com