Police report a spike in cycle thefts
Bike thefts jumped by 68 per cent in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period last year.
Senior police officers said stolen machines could be used in shootings or to commit other crimes.
Chief Inspector Robert Cardwell, head of the Bermuda Police traffic unit, said: “We generally think in some cases bikes are stolen with a view of committing another crime such as burglary, shooting, bag snatch and the like.”
He added: “They are also taken for parts or simple joy riding. I am not sure there is a definitive link between the gun crimes we are seeing and the stolen bikes being reported. Of course, it is more than likely bikes are being stolen to commit other crimes including shootings.”
Mr Cardwell was speaking after police figures showed there were 224 bikes stolen between July and September compared to 152 in the same period last year. The number of stolen bikes this year so far is 494, compared with 547 in total for 2017.
The statistics were revealed in the wake of a series of shooting incidents in recent weeks.
Police appealed for witnesses to four firearms incidents in a mile-and-half radius in the central parishes in the space of a month.
Shots were fired in Pembroke and Devonshire, with the latest on October 21, when a gun was used outside a house in Pembroke’s Happy Valley Road.
No one was injured in any of the incidents.
Police said they were interested in speaking to anyone with information on people riding stolen bikes. Detective Chief Inspector Arthur Glasford said: “We have to keep it in the back of our minds, if a bike gets stolen what is the purpose of it being stolen?
“That is factored in whenever we go to an incident where there is a report of the suspects being on a bike.
“One of the first things we do is check the licence plate number to see if it is stolen or not.
“If a bike is stolen, we always wonder what was the purpose — there could be a lot of reasons and most times if they are not stealing it for parts, because it can be hard to get parts in Bermuda, they may be stealing it to commit crime.”
Mr Glasford said that the allocation of police resources changed to meet statistical trends. He added: “Our quarterly and annual statistics dictate where police priorities lie and where the service delivery should be focused.
“We look at the stats and wherever there is an increase we have to put resources there to address those incidents. It is ever-changing — just because we have a mandate for one thing it doesn’t mean we cancel out anything else that is going on. “We have the resources — it is just about using our resources wisely.
Mr Glasford added: “It also comes down to the community and getting the message out that if people know something, no matter how insignificant they think it may be, to share it and we can act on it in parallel with what we know.
“Hopefully, that way we can find solution to these matters.”
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