Update: Gang of bike thieves nabbed by police

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An organised gang of thieves were arrested after a police raid on a house which recovered bikes worth £80,000.

Police served a warrant at a house in Morecambe as part of a larger investigation into the thefts and exportation of bikes into Europe.

Several members of the gang, who are from Bulgaria, were arrested.

DS Simon Balderstone said: “This was an organised group who’ve been handling high value bikes stolen from Lancaster since the beginning of the year.

“We have pretty much managed to identify the owners of most of the stolen bikes and the vast majority we have managed to return to their rightful owners.

“Its relatively unusual in Morecambe and Lancaster to have an organised gang like this committing crimes, it’s not something you would expect.

“We have cracked it with intelligence led policing and it has been a pleasing and successful result for the victims.”

“We are still in the early stages of the investigation.”

A police spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “The property was recovered during a series of warrants executed earlier this month at addresses in Lancaster and Morecambe.

“The property is believed to have been stolen between January and June in a series of burglaries in south Lancaster.

“All the recovered property has since been returned.

“A number of people, six men and a woman, all Bulgarian nationals from the Lancaster and Morecambe area, have been bailed by police until July 27.

“Officers from Lancashire Constabulary are working with officers in Germany who have seized stolen bikes there.

“There is a possible link between these two cases.”

Spokesman for Dynamo Cycle campaign group Paul Stubbins said: “It was refreshing and fantastic news that they caught the bike gang.

“Bike theft does come up a lot and its something we discuss at meetings.

“A campaign we have thought of running is to try to get CCTV cameras covering the bike racks in Lancaster and to follow up with the police to make sure they were investigating.

“It’s a popular held belief that police don’t prioritise bike theft and concentrate more on violent behaviour and personal attacks over bike thefts and burglaries because they think it can be mopped up with insurance.

“We have asked the council to include cycle storage facilities at the M6 link. Park and Cycle could very well be an alternative to park and ride.

“Park and Cycle is perfect, its a two mile cycle ride with a ready made cycle way.

“But bikes have to be locked and secure otherwise its a complete no go.

“When they arrive in town they need a similar sort of thing with cycle storage facilities that need to be covered by CCTV cameras.

“We would encourage people to get their bikes coded but we need more than that, we need proper police attention to bike theft.”