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Brazen thieves rode off on £3k of bikes
BRAZEN thieves rode away on stolen bicycles worth thousands of pounds after breaking into an Oxford shop.
A concrete slab was thrown through the window of Walton Street Cycles at about 9.30pm on Tuesday as the raiders gained entry.
Co-owners Kevin Moreland and Honour Tomkinson said they believed the two bikes were stolen to order as more expensive items were moved out of the way to get at the looted machines.
The independent shop, which has served Jericho since 1975, has been targeted several times in recent weeks.
Mr Moreland said: “It’s pretty gloomy. I got the call about 9.30pm to say that there had been a break- in.
“It looks like they’ve used carpet and a concrete slab to smash the window.
“They have climbed through and moved other bikes out of the way to get to the two that were stolen.
“These other bikes were more expensive so it looks like they knew what they were doing and exactly what they were after.”
The Kona Operator bike is worth about £2,500, and the bright orange high visibility Orange Clockwork is worth about £850.
He added: “It’s the third time someone has tried to break in in the last few weeks – they usually go for the back door.
“I was told there were people in the street at the time and that whoever did it was seen going in and then riding off.
“I hope the police can help.”
David Taylor, who works in the shop, added : “We hope the public can help us get the bikes back. They are very distinctive and should be easy to spot. It’s not nice to come into work and see something like this has happened.”
The shop’s Walton Street neighbours The Cycle Centre also suffered a recent break-in.
Manager Tom Chapman said he felt getting more young people interested in cycling would reduce crime in the long term.
His shop was targeted on February 5.
Mr Chapman said: “They smashed the window and stole some expensive bike lights. Its a shame that you can’t have nice things in the shop window any more.
“Any affluent area does seem to be a target for crime tourists.
“I think rather than the knee-jerk reaction we should see more money put into grassroots cycling, get more youngsters involved. It’s not cyclists who steal, so if we can get more people riding then crime should go down.
“One shop around here has had to put grilles in their window, which is such a shame and does nothing for the street scene around here, especially at night.”
Call Pc Alex Shepherd on 101.
- A Brompton folding bike hire scheme is launching at Oxford Railway Station next Friday. Forty bikes will be available from docks at the station in Park End Street. The scheme is the third of four set up by company Brompton Dock in partnership with First Great Western.