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Kent Police arrest eight people on suspicion of stealing bikes in Tonbridge and Malling, including York Parade, St Mary's Road and the High Street

Stock image.
Stock image.

A crack down on bike thieves has seen eight arrests in a little over two months.

Between December and February 29 bikes were reported stolen in the Tonbridge and Malling district, a number that Kent Police say is similar to the same period in the previous year.

A GT Avalanche mountain bike was swiped on two days before Christmas after the owner left it outside a supermarket in York Parade, Tonbridge, to go shopping shopped.

Ian Pennells, 26, of no fixed abode was later arrested and charged with theft of a bicycle.

Areas of the town that are popular with commuters are another popular target.

Offences have also recently been detected in the High Street and St Mary’s Road and a couple of 15-year-old boys were arrested and cautioned for stealing a mountain bike in Priory Road on Wednesday, January 8.

In light of these incidents police are reminding cyclists to deter thieves by ensuring their bikes are security marked and always locked when left unattended.

PC Joe Breen said: “We are working really hard to reduce the number of bikes that are stolen in the Tonbridge area.

“Criminals see them as easy pickings because bikes are often left poorly secured or sometimes not at all.

“Always lock your bike wherever you are, and if possible use two locks made from different materials, as thieves will need to use different methods to cut through them.”

Kent Police recovers a large number of stolen and abandoned bikes, of which many are never returned to their rightful owners because simple security measures have not been taken.

PC Breen added: “It is not uncommon for the police to seize bikes that are believed to have been stolen, but all too often the bikes are not property marked and we are unable to reunite them with their owners.

“This is why we are urging people to be more security minded about their cycles, by recording the bicycle frame number and taking other precautions such as making sure you have photos of your bike or marking it with SmartWater.”

To increase the chances of having your bike returned visit www.immobilise.com or www.bikeregister.com

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