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Rise in vehicle thefts

Police have warned of a rise in vehicle thefts from Hamilton after complaints of vehicles being stolen in broad daylight.

Roderick Petty, 61, had his motorbike stolen on August 3, but it was recovered a week later.

He added the bike was found on Elliott Street in Hamilton, along with another bike that had been stolen.

But the mirrors and battery had been taken, although police later recovered the mirrors.

Mr Petty said: “I bought a new bike that Friday and they called me Saturday to say they got it back.

“When it rains, it pours, I guess.”

Mr Petty, from Devonshire, parked his bike on the corner of Wesley Street and Church Street to go to work, but it was gone when he returned at the end of the day.

Mr Petty said that police had arrested a man in connection with the stolen bikes.

He added that, although his bike was recovered this time, he had not seen successful investigations after two earlier thefts of bikes owned by him.

Mr Petty explained: “I returned to Bermuda about 13 years ago and in 13 years I had two bikes stolen.

“There was never an investigation.”

He added: “As you do, you start talking to people about your woes, and without exaggeration everyone I've talked to has either had, or someone they knew closely has had, a bike stolen and there seems to be virtually no effort to get them back.”

A police spokesman confirmed that there had been an increase in reports of stolen vehicles in Hamilton.

He added a total of 270 had been reported stolen since the start of the year.

The police spokesman added: “CCTV is used actively to attempt to identify the persons who have taken them.

“Where a series of thefts are identified, the BPS have formed specific teams to address this and to investigate reports of parts being sold.”

The police spokesman said that the recovery of stolen vehicles was not “as simple as it sounds”.

He explained: “Stolen vehicles in Bermuda, which are in the main cycles, are taken for a number of reasons.

“Bikes are often dissembled and sold for parts. These bikes are often stripped down to the frame which is then dumped in bushes or in the ocean, making recovery difficult.”

The spokesman added: “Other bikes are taken by gang members to be later used in crime and are usually fitted with plates belonging to another cycle.

“Other cycles are taken and used for joy riding by teenagers and then dumped.

“In nearly every case of a car being stolen, the BPS has recovered the vehicle.”

The police spokesman reminded people to take the keys with them when they left their vehicles and not to leave a car or truck unattended with the engine running.

He also told motorcyclists to secure bikes with a lock, preferably attached to an immoveable object, and to park in well lit area at night.

A spokeswoman for the Corporation of Hamilton said: “The city is keenly aware of the perennial problem of bike theft in Hamilton and will continue to work with the police to identify long-term solutions to this problem.

“We believe upgrading the CCTV network throughout the city should be a strong consideration for all of the agencies associated with such a concept.

“The city also has a designated city constable, who has made stolen cycles a part of his city mandate.”

The spokeswoman added: “Motorcycle owners who park in the city can lessen their chances of becoming a victim by always using a supplementary lock and, if possible, a bike alarm.”

Be careful: police warned motorists of a rise in vehicle thefts in the Hamilton area (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published August 20, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated August 20, 2020 at 8:00 am)

Rise in vehicle thefts

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