A HIXON woman has warned fellow cyclists to beware after a pair of valuable custom-built bikes were stolen in what she believes to be a targeted crime.
Mel Booker, of Highfield Road told the Newsletter she was devastated by the theft, which took place between 10pm on Sunday September 1 and 7am on Monday September 2, and saw bikes belonging to her and her son Peter, worth a total of £6,600 stolen from her family garage.
“I am absolutely gutted,” she said. “I’m getting more and more angry and annoyed. “Cycling is an obsession for us. We live to ride.
“They could have taken my car or broken into the house and honestly it wouldn’t have mattered as much as this.”
Mrs Booker, 45, said she wanted to raise awareness in other cycling enthusiasts.
“We believe we were followed home,” said Mrs Booker.
She explained that both she and her son use an app called Strava to track their rides and unless specific privacy settings are engaged, the data from that app could easily lead potential thieves to houses with high-value bikes.
Mrs Booker said a neighbour had a high-value bike stolen from their garage on the same night.
“We think they came through the fields to get to his garage because the gate was locked,” she said.
“They knew exactly what they were looking for, they wanted high-value bikes,” she said. “They left behind four other less valuable bikes in our garage.”
“It’s just wrong,” she said. “The prospect of somebody following you home is awful.
“I have kids in the house and it’s just spooky.”
The two bikes are custom-built and very distinctive.
One is described an Orange Five Black 18" frame with Fox Float Kashima gold-coated forks and a small mark on the right fork lower on the top of the decal. It has XTR and XT drivetrain, Pro Atherton bars and stem, Raceface cranks and ingle chain ring without a chain guide, XT Lever brakes on XTR Calipers and a Rockshox reverb adjustable seatpost.
The other bike is an Orange Five 16" Purple frame with Fox Float RLC forks, Nukeproof stem, Blue Hope headset, Rockshox reverb adjustable seatpost and white Stans ZTR Flow wheels with Superstar Switch evo hubs.
The bikes stolen from the Booker’s neighbours were a Blue Giant Reign 2010, with 18” Medium, American classic wheels, XT brakes, Raceface crank, Fox 150mm forks, Sram x9 drivetrain and a brown Charge Spoon saddle and a Mountain Giant Reign One 2009 of burnt rust colour.
A police spokesman confirmed they had received reports of two bikes worth £1,000 and £1,500 stolen from an address in Ridgeway and two bikes worth between £2,000 and £3,000 each stolen from an address in Highfield Road.
Anyone with information regarding the two thefts is asked to call 101 and quote incident number 108 of September 2 regarding the Highfield Road theft and 116 of September 2 regarding the Ridgeway theft or Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Investigations are continuing to determine whether the incidents are linked.