thirdcrank wrote:Cyclists are sometimes stereotyped by other cyclists as angelic and incapable of wrongdoing, but a keen cyclist baddy might use this MO. They'd know exactly what to nick and how to remove it cleanly from the target bike. Only the simplest multi-tool is needed to get most of the components off a bike PDQ. Dressed in cycling togs they'd not attract attention faffing about near locked bikes and only the unexpected return of the owner of the bike being stripped would risk discovery. Bike parts are easily shifted by bike, especially if you have a vehicle nearby. The only bits of a bike "identifiable" ie with serial numbers, are the frame and possibly fork so there's little risk of detection through possession of the stolen property. Finally, a keen cyclist would have the cover when selling on and the knowledge to get the best price. One person on their own wouldn't amount to a crime wave but successful MO's are quickly copied by others.
thirdcrank wrote:Had somebody else not suggested it was happening, I'd not have thought of it. I'm generally doubtful of the idea of would-be burglars keeping an eye on houses: I'm pretty sure that most of it is opportunism and victims looking for explanations conclude that they've been watched. Thinking about it a bit more, the thief or thieves in this scenario needn't arrive by bike. Park a vehicle nearby but in a different street, get out in ordinary, non-descript togs, once away from the vehicle produce, say, a bike helmet and yellow jacket and to all but the most sceptical observer you are a cyclist at a bike rack. Walking back to your vehicle, even carrying a pair of handlebars + levers with a retail price of £1K+ you are still apparently a cyclist. With time to get the brakes and mechs off, they can go in your bag taking up no room and weighing little but still valuable if sold on by a fellow cyclist who seems to buy all the latest gear and then sell it when they've only had it five minutes.
I fear you both are right
Still my point stands: according to what the shop said, almost all the bikes had been left in the same spots but the theft has happened only after the bikes were serviced... So there is definitely a good degree of cycling knowledge -in terms of what's valuable and how to remove it- and I won't be surprised if it's only one or two criminals playing this game. Yet, they're more than enough, causing a lot of damage!