A CORK garda has warned people to be vigilant and take extra precautions to keep their bicycles safe.
It comes as a total of 369 were stolen across Cork from January last year to April 23 of this year, with 256 bicycles stolen in Cork city last year alone and a further 43 stolen so far this year.
Speaking to The Echo, crime prevention officer Sgt Brian McSweeney of Anglesea St Garda Station said that there is a problem in Cork with bike theft but that “a lot of it has to be down to the discipline of the bike owner”.
“In the month of April, we had 11 bikes taken and of that, there were six not locked,” he said.
“Even a cheap bike seems to have a market.
“The dearest bike taken last month was a €1,000 bike stolen from Sunday’s Well and that’s the seriousness of what people are taking and then I have a bike down to €100.
“Every person’s bike is valuable because it’s personal to you.”
In West Cork, 23 bicycles were stolen last year and three have been stolen so far this year and in North Cork, 39 bicycles were stolen last year and a further five have been stolen this year.
Across the country, a total of 6,845 bicycles have been stolen since January 2020, with An Garda Síochána recovering 2,139 bicycles.
Sgt McSweeney advised people to invest in a double lock and to spend about 10% of the value of the bike.
“People think the side of their house is a trusted location to leave a bike and that’s not the case,” he said.
“When you’re at home you have to secure your bike as you do on Patrick’s Street.
“In the videos I’ve seen of people stealing bikes over the years, there’s such leverage when the bike is locked to a static object like a pole or a bar system in a parking lot, that they keep pulling it and yanking it four or five times until it snaps so the secret is to secure it tightly to an immovable object and to use a double lock.”
Sgt McSweeney also recommended that people take a photograph of the bike and its serial number and email them to themselves.
“God forbid the day comes, you have a proper record that you can present to the guards when the bike is stolen to go immediately and report it having a proper photo and a proper serial number, it is a huge help,” he said.