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Friday, March 15, 2013

Gone In 15 Seconds: The UK's Stolen Second-Hand Bicycle Market [BikeShepherd]


As cycling has grown in popularity, more bikes are being resold on the second-hand online market. Not all of these are legitimate. So how do prospective bike buyers minimize their chances of buying stolen bikes on online classified sites? 
In the UK, a survey from London Cycling Campaign found that one out of every 6 bikes sold online is stolen, with many bikes up for sale within hours of being taken.  College towns such as Oxford, Cambridge, York, Norwich, Sheffield and Lincoln are some of the highest bike crime hotspots with London & Edinburgh being in the top three for worst cities for bike theft overall. 
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Selling stolen bikes online is big business. In Edinburgh, one man was charged with selling 28 stolen bikes on Gumtree, one of which was valued at £4,000. All the bikes were being sold at a fraction of their real worth.   
The investigating officer, PC Keith Young, said: "The person who saw his stolen bike on Gumtree was looking for his property as he knew so many bikes are sold on it. We have contacts at Gumtree and were able to trace the seller. His information showed the victim's bike was put up for sale online the same day it was stolen.” 
We found the seller had offered a total of 50 different bikes for sale and we were able to identify 28 as having being stolen,” Pc Young went on to say. 

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