Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

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1982john
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Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby 1982john » 25 Aug 2019, 9:36pm

I dont want to say where yet as they may not have fixed them.

I was awake as usual at 3am and heard some metal clunking noises outside which did begin to seem unusual but when I heard voices I knew something was up. Fortunately, my room could have a partial view of the bike sheds and with the window being open I could hear it quite well and saw some lights there.

I got dressed went down the 3 flights of stairs and recalled that at this hostel you could get to the bike sheds via the self-catering kitchen (instead of having to go all around the grounds like people normally would).

I opened the door and made some noise rattling the tables and chairs and they legged it pronto. Thankfully they didnt think of taking on their accuser as Im 5ft 4 and 140 lbs :lol:
Once they had ran away I inspected the damage. They had broken the lock of the shed. My bike was ok but they had tried to crowbar cable lock by twisting it and damaged a rear wheel of another two bikes. I took my bike to my room

I called the contact number left by reception and some staff and I handed it over to them. Got to sleep at 5am for one hour...

I felt lucky myself as I was only using a cable lock and if they knew what they were doing (I think they were amatur making too much noise) could have had my bike easily.

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gaz
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Re: So last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby gaz » 25 Aug 2019, 9:51pm

Well done, glad your bike is safe :D .
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reohn2
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Re: So last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby reohn2 » 25 Aug 2019, 10:00pm

gaz wrote:Well done, glad your bike is safe :D .

+1
Unfortunately there are to many of these barstewards about these days :evil:
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1982john
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Re: So last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby 1982john » 26 Aug 2019, 9:07am

reohn2 wrote:
gaz wrote:Well done, glad your bike is safe :D .

+1
Unfortunately there are to many of these barstewards about these days :evil:


Yea I'm not usually one to turn anecdotes into evidence but I've witnessed two other attempted burglaries in last 12 months (one a car and another a house).

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Audax67
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby Audax67 » 26 Aug 2019, 11:24am

Well done.

Obviously amateur thieves - the pros use bolt cutters, against which cables* are useless.

* such as mine :oops:
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1982john
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby 1982john » 26 Aug 2019, 9:48pm

Audax67 wrote:Well done.

Obviously amateur thieves - the pros use bolt cutters, against which cables* are useless.

* such as mine :oops:


Age-old problem. A cable lock that gives you more flexibility to lock it too something or a d lock obviously more secure.

Ironically the bike shed was very full and with my d lock I would have probably just left it not locked to anything - I may have thought better and asked for it be somewhere inside the property.

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freiston
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Re: So last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby freiston » 27 Aug 2019, 12:42am

gaz wrote:Well done, glad your bike is safe :D .

+ 1

I'm glad that no bikes were nicked and damage was minimal - no doubt down to you! I hope you didn't suffer too much from your lack of sleep.
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simonhill
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby simonhill » 27 Aug 2019, 8:10am

It strikes me that the first line of resistance, ie the shed lock, wasn't up to the job.

How good was that lock? Was there any other security eg lights?

I can imagine many people leaving their bike in the 'secure bike facility' without any lock.

Also be interesting to know if this is the first time, or is it a regular occurrence. Maybe unwary cyclists are being deceived about how (un) safe their bikes are.

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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby Tangled Metal » 27 Aug 2019, 8:21am

How strong was the shed door? Not many shed doors are going to be secure neither. Not like those purpose built bike sheds. If the hostel just uses the old garages or workshops for the original building they've probably got old doors on them. If you're relying on stopping access to the shed then it's a bit risky in most hostels of bet.

Cable or d lock? Silver or gold rated chain might be an option. Just a little bit more flexibility over locking bikes up than d locks. Just an idea as a good d lock can be only a bit lighter than gold or silver chains. You only have to make your bike more secure than those around it afterall (the selfish view but still true).

LollyKat
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby LollyKat » 27 Aug 2019, 11:30am

1982john wrote:I ... recalled that at this hostel you could get to the bike sheds via the self-catering kitchen (instead of having to go all around the grounds like people normally would).


So an inside job. I hope the hostel staff have taken note and upgraded their security procedures.

1982john
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby 1982john » 27 Aug 2019, 12:16pm

LollyKat wrote:
1982john wrote:I ... recalled that at this hostel you could get to the bike sheds via the self-catering kitchen (instead of having to go all around the grounds like people normally would).


So an inside job. I hope the hostel staff have taken note and upgraded their security procedures.


To clarify the bike sheds were outside (accessible by anyone) but there was a shortcut to them via kitchen instead of having to go out of the front door and walk around the building.

simonhill wrote:It strikes me that the first line of resistance, ie the shed lock, wasn't up to the job.

How good was that lock? Was there any other security eg lights?

I can imagine many people leaving their bike in the 'secure bike facility' without any lock.

Also be interesting to know if this is the first time, or is it a regular occurrence. Maybe unwary cyclists are being deceived about how (un) safe their bikes are.


They were purpose-built bike sheds. They seemed pretty good - at least comparable to anything else I've seen.

The major flaw as mentioned above is that you didn't need to get inside the property to access them - I'm not sure how common that is?

mercalia
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby mercalia » 27 Aug 2019, 12:41pm

I hope you will tell us which hostel. As that the only way these things will get fixed? Maybe email the hostel giving them say a few days before you name them? many of the hostels I have visited few have good security. The only 2 - Brighton -need a magnetic card, Berwick on tweed - if i remember right a solid steel door in a brick building. Many others are just garden shed affairs with Poundland type locks? One comes to mind is Stratford upon Avon, only protected due its location 2 miles or so from the town.

I suppose bank holidays are a prime time for this type of theft, when the thieves can bank on a full hostel with a good collection of bikes? during the week maybe not so?

Jon Lucas
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby Jon Lucas » 27 Aug 2019, 12:53pm

Quite a few YHA hostels have their bike sheds outside of the property, so in theory accessible to anyone (though they usually aren't obvious - some will look like storage sheds or even garden sheds). Some are quite some distance from the hostel itself, and if tampered with at night, I doubt that anyone inside the property would hear the noise. So security at these is an issue which cyclists ought to be lobbying the YHA about.

I stayed in the hostel near Millom in Cumbria not long before it closed about 15 years ago, and its bike shed was rather wonderfully an old boat.

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby matt2matt2002 » 27 Aug 2019, 6:41pm

Fort William has an outside shed and there is a short cut through the kitchen.
Useful to know if staying there.
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Re: Last night I caught thieves breaking into bike sheds of a well known hostel

Postby eileithyia » 27 Aug 2019, 7:13pm

Well done x
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