Bristol Bike Theft Last Night – My 3rd this year, it’s getting personal now

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  • Bristol Bike Theft Last Night – My 3rd this year, it’s getting personal now
  • So, we’ve had bikes numbers 4 and 5 stolen now, all in one year. Got burgled at about 10.30 last night while we were out eating curry at the Sheesh Mahal on Gloucester Road.

    They used an axe to smash through our back door, set the burglar alarm off, but got away with my Santa Cruz Blur LT and Jo’s Prophet before the neighbours came out. 2 kids between 14 and 15 apparently.

    The police turned up pretty quick and, again, tried to convince me that these incidents arent organised or planned, and that we arent being targetted in any way. I beg to differ, the evidence is mounting up!

    They did offer to drive us around the ‘Mead to have a look out, but I know that isnt how these kids operate, the bikes would already be locked up, ready to be sold on to Mr Big later. Probably being stripped down down, ready for Ebay.

    For those interested, I live just off the Gloucester Road near the John Cabot pub – yes, really, Gloucester Road Bike Theft Shocker!! I’ve lost count of the incidents in BS7 reported on this site. Our first theft happened in February this year, so they obviously waited the traditional 3 months and came back for the replacements, and found them in my dining room this time.

    Luckily we’re off to Mallorca next weekend for a long weekend of dusty trails, and luckily we’ve arranged to hire bikes.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza

    I’m sorry to hear about your repeated bike theft incidents but why the hell don’t you move?

    sorry to hear that, its horrible to have this happen

    Premier Icon Driller

    Feel for you in a big way. We had our second break-in at my partners house, south of Bristol, a week and a half ago. Luckily nothing went this time.

    It seems like once you’re on the scrotes’ list you’re cursed. All I can say to anyone around Bristol is be suspicious, no be paranoid. Hide, alarm and securely lock your bikes, don’t talk about them in the pub or at work, if you ride home or have them on the car make sure you’re not being followed. Don’t leave bike carriers on the roof of your car outside your house (that’s what happened to us first time). Really, be as suspicious as you can. Stop and do some u-turns on your way home, or just stop and let any following cars pass you. Go around a roundabout an extra time on the way home, just make it harder for them to find out where you are.

    Just don’t get into the cycle of being broken into in the first place, because in and around Bristol it will make your cycling life a misery. It’s not just losing bikes, it’s knowing that some thieving scrotes have been in your house and nicked your stuff, and they will be back, and that’ll make you mad.

    Or, just move. That’s what my Partner is doing, not just because of this, but it’s a consideration if bikes are part of your way of life. I’m from York and yes, there’s bike crime, but not at the epidemic proportions that Bristol suffers.

    Totally agree that the Police, however helpful they are at the time, are in denial and simply won’t admit that this is serious, organised crime worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. These scrotes are organised, they obviously keep records of where they’re stolen from before, and they’ve got some kind of organised system for disposing of them. But the Police just seem to think it’s teenagers stealing a hundred quid’s worth of bikes from a shed. When the Police came to us the first time (three days later) they couldn’t even understand that a bike could be worth thousands of pounds. With that lack of comprehesion from your average copper it’s never going to get tackled properly.

    The riding around Bristol is great. Living around Bristol with a bike is a nightmare.

    Pete – moving might help, but that’s a pretty dramatic solution, and seems like giving in. There’s enough good reasons to stick around this area.

    I suggest to the police last night that I must be on some sort of database or spreadsheet, he laughed and said these people are so stupid they wouldnt even know how to write “because their fingers are too big and fat”….then did some sort of comical impression with his hands. I’m expecting a visit from a Detective this morning, hopefully he will be a bit more aware of the extent of the problem and the sort of people responsible for this crime.

    I thought about taking off the bike racks when I’m not using them, but this sort of thing is always a balance of security vs convenience. Good tips in you note above, but tough if you are already a marked man!


    Any ideas why Bristol seems to be such a hotspot for bike thefts? Do people down there think it’s a load of individuals stealing for themselves or some kind of organised network?

    Premier Icon jam bo

    get a big dog with sharp pointy teeth?


    Bristol seems to be a massive hot spot for expensive bike thefts and I really wonder why?

    yeah, dog makes a lot of sense – or a dog shaped alarm. When my pet cat dies, we’re planning on replacing him with a tiger

    Mojo – in my experience, it has been kids stealing the bikes, they then get taken to lock ups where the whole deal is more organised. I guess the kids get some cash for their troubles. Last time I had a bike stolen (all of 2 months ago…) it was taking by a young kid, but the frame was recoved from someone else’s garage in Southmead with dozens of other frames, forks etc. I’m still waiting to find out what sentence the owner got.

    Premier Icon singletracksurfer

    ‘cos the riding is close – people ride straight to and from the trails from home and there are lots of riders to choose from. Easy pickings.


    If this happened to me I’d want to catch them no matter what.
    Have you thought about a tracker on the bike when it’s at home? That way when you get your replacement and that gets stolen, you know the people/group that have taken the lot off of you. Of course the police will just get your bike back and won’t even bother with a full raid/search where computers are seized which are guaranteed to have you address on etc .
    Alternatively if you’d rather it just not happen again a dog sounds a good idea or an anchor point in your house where you could have massive kryptonites wrapped around. They are unlikely to have the equipment with them to break the locks as they probably assume since they are in the house they won’t be locked. Also CCTV may be a deterrent, especially seeing how cheap they are becoming.
    I dread to think about your insurance premium…

    Premier Icon PePPeR

    If I were going to be getting replacement bikes, I’d be keeping them at somewhere like BigYellow instead. Makes it an arse just to get out and ride but at least it would break the chain.

    There used to be rental units at the old warehouses in Brizzle (IIRC m company had a place there when I first started working for them, very secure access and might be an idea?


    Definitely should have taken up the offer of driving round Southmead with the police.
    After my mates house was broken into a few months ago, I went on a lone mission about 40 mins after the break in around southmead and saw two teenagers riding the stolen bikes round the streets! They were in no hurry to stash the bikes away. Called my mate who was with the police by now and they raced round to try and aprehend the kids. Unfortunately they got away, but I would strongly recommend to anyone in the same situation to get yourself straight down to Southmead to have a look round the streets – you’ve got nothing to lose!


    agentdagnamit – you realise you have just publicised your location for anyone else who wants to go looking for some very expensive brand new bikes to nick in a few months time! You have also just told the guys who nicked your bikes that your house will be empty next week when you are on holiday. I would ask the mods to remove that info from your post.

    Ditto Poly’s comments, first thing i thought when i read that… 🙄


    Bar stewards!

    A few bikers in Bristol are buying extra locks etc and worried about their bikes.

    Any info on the suspects? 14-15yrs, white?

    Axe? FFS!

    Why don’t we set these thieves up? and use baseball bats on them for once.


    I got hit at some point last night too, Sea Mills here. Found the garage door kicked in and my bikes taken. At least in my case they didn’t axe their way into my house 🙁

    It’s OK, my location obviously isnt a secret to the local thieving scum, happy to give away my approximate location as a warning to others who live around here. Got a house sitter for the weekend too (and there isnt anything left to nick!)

    sorry to hear that badgerpoo, that’s cr@p too, even though your house is intact.

    Just had CSI around with some useful advice. I tend to believe this guy new his stuff, and he swears it’s rare for a burglar to return to the same house. He was also suprised that I was done over, as my house has an alarm.


    B*gger! Feel sorry for you guys.

    I do think an organised and collective approach and campaign to the Police and the Council is more likely to pay dividends than individual comments about the local bobby’s casual throwaway remarks about the thieves being ‘thick kids’. After all this epidemic of thefts is hardly likely to encourage more people to get out on their bikes as part of the Bristol’s multi-million pound Cycling City programme.

    Perhaps a meeting could be organised of those who have had their bikes nicked and an action plan agreed to engage the authorities. This could easily be done through STW, BMBC, Cheesy Riders, Bristol Trails group etc.

    did you get followed back from a trail centre?
    kids might have worked out that your a keen cyclist and will replace your bike…so they come back every 2 months for more…

    Premier Icon rockfield

    I had my litespeed nicked from the shed in our garden a few years ago. We lived on Milner Road (just by the foresters arms) so very close to where you are. Our house was mid terrace with another garden backing onto it and no lane access. To get to my shed they had to climb through 5 gardens. Thats too organised for my liking. Sure enough 3 months later we got burgled again(luckily we had rented the house out by then!) When we got back from travelling we moved ASAP. Horfield is a great location for so many reasons, but my partner just didnt feel safe there any more. Sounds like its just getting worse. The idea of keeping bikes somewhere else sounds good to me. I just dont think you can win- if they are prepared to axe down the door of an alarmed house, what wont they do? Will definitely keep an eye open for you!
    Good luck!


    It would seen that nobody other than cyclists take bicycle theft that seriously.

    I think you need a bombproof, axe weilding numptyproof storage solution!

    If they are due back in three months, why not rig something up to lock ’em in until the law arrive?


    Steel security door is what you need.

    Some Burglars do come back.

    And use an AK47 on them.


    I tend to believe this guy new his stuff, and he swears it’s rare for a burglar to return to the same house. He was also suprised that I was done over, as my house has an alarm.

    Have to disagree. We had 2 sneak in thefts (where they come in through an unlocked or poorly locked door, and nick easy to grab, easy to sell stuff like handbags, phones etc) in a previous house. Police and SOCOs both told us that once they have identified a “soft spot” they would keep going back to it.

    Friends of ours had their house done 3 times in a short space of time despite increasing their security each time (inc. adding an alarm). Police were sure it was same person each time and only stopped when they caught someone.

    At the end of the day people nicking very high value mountain bikes are not doing it on “chance” – its not like a flat screen telly, PVR, hifi, laptop etc which you can assume most houses have, and are easy to flog on – its specialist kit that needs a preplanned “route to market”, and a reasonably smart thief that can tell if its worth lifting in the first place.


    Gutted on the thefts. Have you been offered smart water from the police, they offer it in my area (Lancashire)and will generally send someone round to go over security with you. The Police will be keen to catch the shitbags but if when they do and the courts let them down, they are fighting a losing battle. I agree in that selling MT parts isn’t easy an there must be a market for it, so it’s up to us to consider when buying second hand that the item isn’t nicked! As for your gaff I think a set up is in order.

    Good luck

    No, never been told about Smart Water. There doesnt seem to be any strategy to the police’s approach down here, other than to encourage people to fortify their property.

    What was funny today was that me, my neighbour and the copper were discussing how to make the gate they climbed over to get in a little harder to climb, my neighbour said he was going to increase its height and hammer a row of nails into the top of it. The copper stuck his fingers in his ears, smiled and said “I didnt hear that!”. Then he told me the police “recommend” carpet strip, as it’s good for holding DNA evidence from torn fingers and there’s no chance of ending up in court for taking excessive measures to protect yourself.

    I agree with the point above about thinking twice before buying 2nd hand kit, I’ve made a point of always asking ebayers recently if they have receipts, some of the replies and excuses are hillarious.


    i’m convinced that the reason we’re suffering in Bristol is because it’s so easy to follow mtbers. Wait at the sus bridge and then just follow them home. There seems to be noticeably less theft in areas where people don’t ride over the bridge to get home.


    Couple of flights of steps and a quick salmon run down a one way street should short the wheat from the chaff then

    Premier Icon mAx_hEadSet

    Might be a bit dull but do the filth in Bristol do any crime mapping stuff , can you use FoI to get a map of reported cycle theft, and see if there is a hot spot then try and get a load of riders to turn up at the local community safety partnership bullshit meetings and demand some action if any kind of locality appears to get more than its fair share…

    I have to deal with CSP’s a lot we have one of the reputedly most successful ones in the uk… the local authority officer is an ex Knacker of the Yard who thinks alley gating is the cure for everything irrespective if it stops the normal law abiding public going about their daily life.

    harry too

    Bad news there Agentdagnamit, I am a mile further up Gloucester Road and beginning to think Bristol is a joke when it comes to bike crime.

    Max, I was sent a copy of the Police’s investigation into bike crime in Bristol as part of previous correspondance with MPs, councillors and the Police. They seem completely unaable to differentiate between mrs miggins having her shopper taken from outside the bakers by an oportunist to save £2 on the bus ride up Gloucester Road and a targetted house burglary to obtain a £3k mountain bike to be stripped, frame dumped and the parts sold on e-bay by a semi professional racket.

    The report identified two “hot spots” for bicycle theft, cabot circus and the waterfront.

    Makes you sick, see my previous posts for the contact details of the PC tasked to address the issue of bike theft in Bristol and MPs where I’ve had interest in our plight.

    As always, hope you get your bikes back, but based on the Polices own statistics the chances are slim, in 2007 / 2008 over £1 million of bikes stolen in Bristol, just 1% returned.

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