Resident issues warning of Chichester bike theft 'epidemic'
A Chichester resident has said how important it is to lock your bicycle after he had two stolen in the past six months.
In a letter to the Observer, Andy Marshall from Appledram Lane North said: "There seems to be a crime-wave of bicycle thefts currently within the Chichester area. Having never had a bike stolen ever in my life: I have now had two stolen in less than six months."
Andy's 'Boardman' road bike was stolen from the Cross and is yet to be recovered despite the city 'bristling with CCTV cameras'. He began to chase the thief but was not successful.
On September 11, another bicycle was stolen from Andy. The red Raleigh bike, worth 'about Â£30.00' was chained up in Eastgate Square.
He said: "Whilst the bike was not worth much it had sentimental value as I bought it 13 years ago in France when I was on holiday with my son."
Adding: "The purpose of this letter is to warn Chichester residents of this epidemic of bike thefts. There may be a gang of bike thieves operating in the city who will target any bike, old or now, cheap or valuable, and shamelessly steal bikes whether in the dead on night or in broad daylight in full view of CCTV cameras."
Andy said that, in light of the thefts, he will now use 'at least one' high quality lock and a padlock through the chaining.
Inspector Danny West said: "We haven't seen any significant increase of decrease in the number of bicycle thefts in Chichester in recent months, nor is the number disproportionate to towns or cities of similar size.
"Sussex Police have worked with Chichester District Council over many years to deliver crime prevention advice and cycle marking events in the effort to educate, prevent thefts and increase the possibility of identifying stolen cycles. That work is on-going."
Police confirmed the theft of Andy's 'Boardman' bicycle and said: "The thief is described as white, in his mid-30's, with short blond hair and wearing a blue hooded top and blue jeans.
"CCTV from street cameras and local has been checked but did not capture the incident. Anyone with information is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 817 of 16/03."