The Wokingham Paper

Thieves target bikes kept in secure stores in late-night raids across Wokingham

Bike thefts appear to be on the rise in Wokingham, after three separate incidents in the past fortnight.

The latest theft occurred when a secure bike store in Mulberry House, Carey Road, was raided on Monday evening last week.

Resident Lewis Holley first discovered the broken electronic lock outside the bike store two days later, and realised between five and 10 bikes were missing, including his own.

He said: “I was in a bit of flap, to be honest.

“Obviously, no one in the flats is very happy about it.”

He posted a warning on Facebook to his neighbours and said: “This was obviously a well calculated and targeted operation, and a very similar thing recently happened to a friend at his black of flats in Fleet.

“Just be wary, especially if you live in flats and are under the impression your bike is secure… If that’s you, I suggest you invest in a very good bike lock.”

One resident saw a van at 3.30am on Monday outside the block of flats, which are supposed to have secure gates outside.

She took a picture and sent it to the police for further investigation, although when Mr Holley first called, he said that the police did not deploy any officers.

Mr Holley added: “Someone messaged me who lives in the flat opposite, he said he heard a lot of noises bang and tools and then just after 4am on Monday morning, saw some shady-looking guy outside the flat.”

Mr Holley explained all the individual bike locks were cut through. His bike cost £500.

He was also concerned over the safety issues with the block of flats generally.

“This was just another thing that we didn’t need.

“The most annoying thing – apart from the police not showing up – is that there is supposed to be a gate at the front of Mulberry House, that is only accessible electronically with a fob.

“If they were working, the van would never have got near the flat.”

Kimberley Sawyer and her 10-year-old daughter were victims of a similar theft last week.

They used a communal bike shed, but her daughter’s bike was locked up.

Thieves had cut through the lock and stolen the bike leading to Ms Sawyer’s daughter being reduced to tears.

Miss Sawyer, of Molly Millar’s Lane, said: “As a parent this makes me so angry that complete strangers left her feeling like this.

“Luckily I have very good friends who all chipped in and bought her a new one as I wouldn’t have been able to afford this myself.

“I’m aware of a lot of bikes being stolen from sheds around Wokingham and if the perpetrator(s) are reading this then I strongly urge you to please think about the hurt and upset you are inflicting upon your targets.”

Tom Noyes, of Reading Road, also had his bike stolen from a communal bike shed.

He said: “My bike was taken between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. They cut the lock off.”

But, he was lucky enough to have his bike returned to him.

“I spotted a young man riding my bike, no more than about 200 yards from my flat. I followed him, and he met up with some other youths and sat under the underpass at the Woosehill roundabout.

“I was then spotted by one of the youths and they dumped my bike and all ran away.”

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“i” before “e”, except after “c” !