Multiple motorbike thefts prompt Edinburgh tourism warning

MOTORBIKE thieves targeting holidaymakers in the Capital have struck again - prompting warnings over the tourism trade from a hotel owner.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 10:07 am
Michael Kuhn and his BMW

German Michael Kuhn’s BMW was taken from outside the Fraoch House guesthouse on Pilrig Street on Friday night - the second that night and fourth in a month.

Now Fraoch House owner Matthew Wong has warned Edinburgh’s image as a top tourist destination is being put at risk.

“Myself I recently moved from Hong Kong and I know from reading the Edinburgh Evening News that Edinburgh is quite a safe city for the Scottish capital,” said Mr Wong.

“Now thieves are trying to target many tourists with quite a few recently. With the beautiful Scottish scenery many come here to drive and enjoy the Scottish roads and a lot are bikers.

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“If we can’t say Edinburgh is safe for bikers, it puts up a barrier to tourism and that just doesn’t make sense.”

Mr Kuhn’s 19-year-old BMW K1200 RS was taken on the last night of his holiday before returning home.

“We returned now to our home in Germany,” said Mr Kuhn, who was travelling with three fellow bikers.

“It is hard to take when I look now into my empty garage. I really would be grateful to get it back in good condition.

“It took me several times safely and reliably to Scotland especially Edinburgh, too. I never had the feeling that Edinburgh is an unsafe area.

“And there was no reason for me to doubt about it - until last Friday evening when the group of bikers I was traveling with and I returned from dinner.

My bike, part of me had been stolen between 7pm and 10.30pm very close to the Fraoch House where we enjoyed our stay in Edinburgh.

The Evening News has reported on three similar thefts over the last month, with tourists’ bikes targeted each time from outside their hotels.

“I have also read an article in the Edinburgh Evening News in which a similar story like mine is reported,” said Mr Kuhn.

“It seems to be a very popular business in Edinburgh to steel motorbikes. This is no good reputation for Scotland and also not for Edinburgh and its people.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Police in Edinburgh are investigating the theft of a BMW 1200 RS motorcycle from outside an address in Pilrig Street.

"The incident happened sometime between 7.30pm and 10.30pm on Friday 14th June.

"Inquiries are being progressed as part of Operation Soteria and anyone with information is asked to come forward."