Masked gang of motorbike thieves thought to be touring Edinburgh in a Transit

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A GANG of masked thieves are thought to be touring the Capital casing high-performance bikes before stealing them.

The mob were seen lifting one bike into the back of a Transit van in broad-daylight in front of shocked bystanders.

Ethan and his treasured Yamaha

Ethan and his treasured Yamaha

Now its gutted owner is convinced the group are behind similar raids after his pal’s machine was taken just days later.

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The 21-year-old trainee barber said: “I was in Musselburgh on Saturday, parked my bike up just behind the High Street, came back and it wasn’t there.

“Two women residents saw two males in face masks and hoods just lift it and put it into a Transit and off they went.

“The alarm on my bike was going off which is what made the witnesses come out but they were too scared to try and stop them.

“It’s one of those things you hear about but you don’t think it’s that bad but it just goes to show it happens here as well.”

The angry owner reckons the same gang were behind the theft of his mate’s bike - also a 133mph Yamaha MT-07 - in Stenhouse.

He thinks the gang spotted both bikes parked outside the barbers in Leith where he works - before trailing them and deciding to pounce.

“The thing is, my friend’s bike was taken two days later,” he said. “I definitely think they’re connected.

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“It’s the same bike, he keeps his in the back garden not visible from the street and the bikes were together at the barbers.”

His £6,500 distinctive electric blue Yamaha MT-07, registration SK68 XJD, was stolen last Saturday afternoon in Musselburgh.

The Evening News has reported on a number of motorbike thefts over the summer - though typically tourists’ Triumphs have been targeted from outside hotels.

Official Police Scotland figures revealed thefts of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, were down nearly a third (31 percent) from 860 to 591 last year on the previous year.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Police in East Lothian are investigating after a motorcycle was stolen in Musselburgh.

"The incident happened around 3.30pm on Saturday 31st August in Fishers Wynd.

"The Yamaha bike was loaded into a white Ford Transit van, which then drove off towards New Street.

"Inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible and recover the motorcycle.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact Musselburgh Police Station via 101 and quote incident number 2925 of the 31st August."

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