POLICE are appealing for witnesses after a spate of bike thefts in Swindon town centre in the space of a week last month.
In total, five bikes were stolen from locations across the town centre between Monday January 13 and Monday January 20.
There are a number of people police would like to speak to in relation to the thefts, some of which involved bikes costing hundreds of pounds, but there is no indication at this stage that the thefts are connected.
On Monday, January 13 at around 4.30pm one bike was stolen from outside The Savoy Pub, Regent Street, while at the same time on Tuesday, January 14 a bike was stolen from the bike rack at Zurich, Tri Centre.
The following day, Wednesday, January 15, between 1pm and 4pm two bikes were stolen from the bike racks outside Hotcha, in Regent Street and then on Monday, January 20 at around 2.30pm one bike was stolen from the bike rack close to Wilkinson’s, in Bridge Street.
Paul Bezzant, beat manager for Swindon town centre, said while there had been a rise in bike thefts in the town recently, it could be avoided if people were more cautious.
“Bike thefts have seen a resurgence recently, and part of the problem is that people will leave their bikes unattended and insecure when they go into the shops,” he said.
“That was certainly the case for one of these incidents.
“Bikes in this day and age will cost into the thousands of pounds, but people do not get a decent lock to keep them secure.
“Some are so thin they can be got through very easily.
“Some of the locks we have seen have been so poor that just picking them up and shaking them can make the lock pop.
“To spend £50 or £60 on a decent lock is a good investment for a bike costing thousands of pounds.”
PC Bezzant said: “I am hoping there will be a good number of people who were present for some of these incidents.
“For the one at the Savoy people would have had a clear line of sight.
“Especially at this time, when people do not have much money to spend, bikes are crucial for a lot of people.
“There is no clear indication the incidents are connected at the moment. They are probably two different groups of offenders.
“We do need to get the message out there that people need to be more careful.
“There are lock-ups available in the town centre, which provide a secure option.”
Wiltshire Police would like to speak to anyone with information on these incidents.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Community Beat Manager for Swindon Town Centre PC Claire Davidson on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.