Gang nabbed by police during house raids

Martyn Warren Cowan posted this picture on Facebook of his brother Gary's bike which was stolen bike and  has yet to be recovered.

Martyn Warren Cowan posted this picture on Facebook of his brother Gary's bike which was stolen bike and has yet to be recovered.

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An organised gang of thieves were arrested after a police raid on a house which recovered bikes worth £80,000.

Police served a warrant at a house in Morecambe as part of a larger investigation into the theft and exportation of bikes into Europe.

Several members of the gang, who are from Bulgaria, were arrested.

DS Simon Balderstone said: “This was an organised group who’ve been handling high value bikes stolen from Lancaster since the beginning of the year.

“We have pretty much managed to identify the owners of most of the stolen bikes and the vast majority we have managed to return to their rightful owners.

“Its relatively unusual in Morecambe and Lancaster to have an organised gang like this committing crimes, it’s not something you would expect.

“We have cracked it with intelligence led policing and it has been a pleasing and successful result for the victims.”

“We are still in the early stages of the investigation.”

A police spokesman for said: “The property was recovered during a series of warrants executed earlier this month at addresses in Lancaster and Morecambe.

“The property is believed to have been stolen between January and June in a series of burglaries in south Lancaster.

“All the recovered property has since been returned.

“A number of people, six men and a woman, all Bulgarian nationals from the Lancaster and Morecambe area, have been bailed by police until July 27.

“Officers from Lancashire Constabulary are working with officers in Germany who have seized stolen bikes there.

“There is a possible link between these two cases.”

Gary Cowan, 24, of Witherslack Close, Westgate, had a grey and green Mongoose mountain bike stolen from his shed just last week, betwen June 17 and 18.

He said: “It’s quite unbelievable that someone thinks they can take your stuff. It’s very sickening. I was really looking forward to getting out in the Lakes on it and now I’ll never get the chance to use it.”

Cal Clare said her white bike with a child’s seat on the back worth £500 was stolen from the Bare area between March 18 and 19, She said: “ I was really upset when it got stolen as its my only form of transport.

“I also lost my childseat that I use to pick up and drop off my grandsons with ,so really inconvenient too . I’ve also had the added unexpected expense of having to buy a new bike and accessories.”

Spokesman for Dynamo Cycle campaign group Paul Stubbins said: “It was refreshing and fantastic news that they caught the bike gang.

“Bike theft does come up a lot and its something we discuss at meetings.

“A campaign we have thought of running is to try to get CCTV cameras covering the bike racks in Lancaster and to follow up with the police to make sure they were investigating.

“We would encourage people to get their bikes coded but we need more than that, we need proper police attention to bike theft.” Call 101.