Man charged over 62 bike thefts in Edinburgh

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A SUSPECTED serial bike thief has been charged with stealing 62 cycles as police ramp up efforts to disrupt a Capital crimewave.

Officers raided a flat in Saughton on Tuesday to find a stash of more than £30,000 worth of high-end bikes taken from stairwells and sheds across the city.

A 41-year-old man was charged for the thefts and is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court at a later date.

“We work tirelessly to find and recover stolen property and bring those responsible for these thefts before the courts,” said Detective Inspector Bob Campbell.

Under Operation Parameter, an initiative dedicated to 
tackling bike theft, the 41-year-old was arrested in August over a bid to sell a stolen bike online.

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Following further inquiries, Edinburgh’s Community Investigation Unit executed a warrant at the flat in Saughton on Tuesday.

Half of the bikes found, worth more than £14,000, have already been returned to their rightful owners.

“Over half a million bikes are stolen across the UK each year, with more than half of these taken from the owner’s property,” said DI Campbell.

“I’d urge cyclists to remain vigilant and leave their bikes in a secured area, wherever possible, always ensuring that these are locked to an immovable object with a good quality lock.

“Contact Police Scotland via 101 to report any suspicious behaviour, noting the descriptions of any persons or vehicles involved, and always dial 999 if you see a crime ongoing.

“I also want to take this opportunity to remind those buying second-hand bikes online to ensure that the seller can provide proof of ownership.

“If you purchase a stolen bike, knowingly or otherwise, this can be recovered by police at any time and returned to its rightful owner.”

One bike shop owner told the Evening News bike thefts in the Capital tend to happen in spates.

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“It’s still rife,” he said. “We’ve had three or four customers recently who’ve had their bikes nicked.

“It’s strange because it seemed to have stopped for a while but then it flared up again.”

Back in June, an 18-year-old was charged after 32 stolen bikes were found in a Newington raid.

Chas Booth, Green transport spokesperson at the city council welcomed the police action.

He also called on supermarkets and other venues to make more secure cycle parking available.

“I congratulate the police on their hard work and success in arresting this alleged serial bike thief,” said Cllr Booth.

“I hope action to tackle bike crime will continue.”

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com