Tracking devices introduced to help catch bicycle thieves

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SO-called “trap” bikes, designed to catch thieves, are being introduced by police in Doncaster after a spate of bicycle thefts in the town.

The cycles are inbuilt with hidden GPS devices, similar to the tracking systems that are often used to protect expensive cars.

They are now being placed throughout Doncaster borough by police, in the hope that the bikes will be stolen and then officers can be led directly to the thieves.

Chief inspector Neil Thomas said: “The ‘trap’ bike will hopefully deter opportunistic thieves and therefore reduce the number of thefts.

“There is no way of knowing which bicycle is fitted with the GPS device; if the trap bike is stolen, there is a much greater chance the thief will be found and arrested.

“I would advise bicycle owners to make a note of the serial number and if possible, take a photograph of the bike, as this will assist us in returning it to them should it ever be stolen.”

As well as planting the trap bikes, police will also be conducting extra patrols and stop checks in Doncaster town centre.

This crackdown comes after, following last week’s warm weather, there were an increased number of reports of bicycle thefts across Doncaster.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “Bicycle thefts are most commonly committed by opportunistic thieves when they see a bicycle left unattended and unsecured.

“Police are advising cyclists to protect themselves from becoming a victim by adhering to the following advice.

“Use a good bicycle lock, either a D lock or combination locks are the most secure.

“Lock the bicycle to something secure, such as a bike rack or a lamppost, even if you are only going to leave it for a couple of minutes.

“Ensure removable parts are locked up and take light fittings with you if possible.

“Avoid leaving the bicycle in isolated locations, have the bicycle’s frame security marked or engraved. and log it on the free national property register system - Immobilise.”

To register a bike on Immobilise, or for additional security advice, visit the website at www.immobilise.com