Update: A Week of Bike Theft in the UK

Dec 4, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  
It's been a disheartening week in the UK when it comes to bike theft, with Hans Rey's garage being broken into three times now and Orange Bikes along with Stif Mountain bikes also suffering thefts. Hans has posted the video below to his YouTube channel.




More on the bikes that have gone missing from Hans' garage can be found in our previous news post.

Orange Bikes have had 11 of their P7 hardtails stolen from the Greater Manchester/Merseyside area.




Stif Mountain Bikes shop in Harrogate also had 13 high-end trail bikes stolen. Check out their post for more information on the individual bikes.


Many of these bikes are rare so there is hope that they will turn up and the thieves will be caught before more are stolen. If you have any information on any of the above thefts, please contact the authorities.


MENTIONS: @GTBicycles / @orangebikes


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128 Comments

  • + 70
 The sad reality is that UK police simply don't care. £300 of jewellery is nicked and they are all over it. £10 000 of bike is stolen and it's as if you've phoned them cos you dropped your ice cream.
  • + 21
 Your wrong my wife had 10 grand worth of jewellery stolen the police didnt give a monkeys they are too busy, if its insured its not there problem
  • - 18
flag makdthed (Dec 4, 2018 at 12:36) (Below Threshold)
 @LALArobbo: dont say that, it goes against the negative narrative that he wants to portray

4xwednesdays - Dude, stop talking bollocks, 300 quid!!! I love how people make shit up just to make their point, or rather, force their incorrect opinion on people
  • + 2
 Blame Brexit...
  • + 24
 @Scotj009: it was this bad long before anything was even mentioned about brexit, I had a bike nicked in 2012 and literally took half a day for two pcsos to turn up, give us a crime number and say ring your insurance. The police are a joke by their own making, it's all paperwork and pensions, none of them take any initiative or want to put their necks on the line for anything.
  • + 21
 @makdthed: Jewellery thefts are usually from within a home and thus are classed/coded differently to bike thefts. Forces are funded according to coding. It's why when the house across from mine was hit and they had £300 of jewellery stolen, a policeman actually came and took statements. My garage was robbed a few days later and £10000 of bike was taken at 12.30pm on a Tuesday afternoon (my neighbour seeing it happen). I saw my 888s on someone else's bike a few weeks later. The rider gave me the phone number, type of car and meeting place/time where they bought them (it was covered by CCTV and numberplate recognition as it was a public supermarket). Literally zero f*cks given.
  • + 5
 @inked-up-metalhead: It was a joke
  • + 42
 I had a bike nicked from my office in London and whilst I was riding in Moab he next week I found the parts on eBay. The Met bike theft squad kicked the dudes door down and chased down all the bits he had already ebayed.

Couldn’t have had a better police experience
  • + 15
 @inked-up-metalhead: do you think the police want to do all that paperwork instead of chasing criminals ? Our PM Theresa May is to blame , she cut the police budgets !
  • - 14
flag TheUnknownMTBR Plus (Dec 4, 2018 at 13:37) (Below Threshold)
 Didn’t you get the memo? Putting crooks in jail is discrimination. And it requires working and making some effort too. We can’t have that, now can we?

Recently, everytime I hear about a crime in the UK now it reminds me of the movie; A Clockwork Orange. You can thank Henry Vlll ...
  • + 17
 @4xwednesdays: My bike got nicked up at Inners, the police were incredible, we had a Sargent there in about 5 mins, she had people going house to house, had all local CCTV gathered up, calls out, etc, followed up personally over a fortnight or so too. Couldn't of asked for more and I'm her own words (grounds keeper Willy voice) 'these little f**king c**ts get riiiiight on my f**kin t*ts'. Didn't get my bike back mind, fortunately insurance came through and now I'm blinging.
  • + 8
 @TheUnknownMTBR: We had the 1st police force and can (in some instances) solve crimes , while you guys just shoot everyone !
  • + 7
 It's not like the fuzz are suffering massive cut backs because some one some where has messed up and wasted money. Fact is that there are less po po to deal with this kind of theft but there are more scum bag mo fo's taking chances cos they have more cover of darkness at this time of year.
  • + 43
 I came here for the British vernacular. Definitely worth the trip.
  • + 10
 The polis will rarely come out for a bike theft, incident number over the phone, job done, case closed. Unless you catch one of the thieving little bastards red handed and kick their cunt in. Then the polis will be out in quick time to arrest you.
  • + 1
 @pbuser2299: Knicked outside no1?
  • + 28
 @garrettstories All these thieving wankers 'ave binned all their bloody morals. No mums or dads round, yeah. Ate to sound like a rude boy, but I wish a lorry would run 'em all down. All this crimes a real shame, innit bruv.
  • + 0
 OMG congrats Britain! You now have your own meme! "THANKS BREXIT!" We're still enjoying our "THANKS OBAMA" memes years after he retired. Its a grand ol time.
  • + 13
 @Matt115lamb: We get sh*t done LOL!!!!

"cause every American needs a car with a gun rack." Jeremy Clarkson, Top Gear.
  • + 2
 @TheUnknownMTBR:
You are right.
I've been going to a prison in Leicester (glen parva) they are knocking down because it wasn't nice for prisoners.
Erm didn't you give up that right when you ended up in here?
  • - 5
flag TheUnknownMTBR Plus (Dec 4, 2018 at 22:06) (Below Threshold)
 @Intensevp: well more than a few of your mates seem to agree, but the 1st part was just a sarcastic attempt at humor. However, regarding the 2nd part Britain turned from God long before us (partially why the pilgrims and reformers left for America in the early 17th century), but we’re still heading in that same direction eventually too. I’ll likely be done in long before then fortunately.
  • + 4
 @garrettstories: get on ya boat’n’row ......back over pond !
  • + 2
 Put Sherlock on it. Case solved.
  • + 94
 As a police officer and mountain biker, it always saddens me to see the police hate filled comments posted on here. I can assure you that the vast majority of officers care a lot (there's always a few bad apples, but these are rare in my experience) but at the end of the day there's only so much you can do with the resources you have. We are struggling now with increased crime and reduced funding (austerity is great!). For better or worse the legal system here is innocent until proven guilty with a high burden of proof to reduce the likelihood of a wrongful finding of guilt, but it means we have to do a massive amount of investigation for every offence however minor. We therefore have to pick and choose our battles - everything is graded as to the threat, risk and harm caused, and it is inevitable that some people won't get the service they wish. I know officers carrying tens of child abuse cases. I know officers managing over 20 serious assaults. I myself have an extraordinary workload. What would you prioritise - a burglary over a robbery? A bike theft over someone in a coma? Does it grate when criminals 'get away with it' - yes. Do the police get annoyed by it - yes. Almost every officer I know is working harder than you realise, with stress and burnout at an all time high. If we could catch all the criminals and return all your property we would.
I'm not going to diminish anyone's bad experience(s) as I know how much it would hurt for someone to steal my bike, but I hope that some might see the other side.
Sorry for the rant but it hurts that we, in our current state, cannot do what we joined to do. Please don't mistake the current situation for police apathy.
  • + 6
 @slimboyjim: thanks for what you do, its easy to bash the Police but if people knew the reality of maybe 10 officers covering a massive area on a night shift they might begin to understand. The Police cant win - they take a strong stance against the London moped muggers by ramming them ( which is what most law abiding citizens want to see ) then they get hauled in front of inquiries because the poor little mugger got scratched when he fell off, or people taking pictures of them parked on double yellows- who gives a f*ck if its me calling them i want them ready to go not going through the streets looking for the car they parked 2 miles away just so they could eat a sandwich for the first time in a 12 hour shift - why anyone would do such a thankless task is beyond me so thanks again.
  • + 2
 @slimboyjim: Well said. fed up of the level of ignorance and the tarring of the whole of the Police with the same brush.
  • + 2
 @slimboyjim: Very well put, I totally feel for anyone who has a bike stolen, it is your pride and joy so it is devestaing for the owner but frankly if you only have enough time to investigate something like violence or abuse (especially minors) then I would prefer that was proirtised as much as it would frustrate the ffff out of me.
I think most sensible and decent humans beings appreciate the police and what they do, especially the important stuff like keeping us safe. Thanks for standing up and making a difference, happy riding Smile
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: not disputing personal feelings from any police officer, I know a few and they all do care, it's the system that's the problem and my comment was aimed more at that, though round here speeding tickets and stopping people to check if their vehicle is legal seems to be more of a priority than anything else, and then you get instances of a blind guy getting tasered because 'his white stick looked like a katana' and the local police force saying there was no wrong doing and what not, it seems to most civilians its pretty much a mates club who look after each other over the public, there's no confidence anymore, if anything a lot of people see them as a nuisance for the afore mentioned 'beat up a thief and get arrested' issues.
  • + 2
 Just a pity that resources are so limited and that many normal people who don’t encounter the criminal justice system on a regular basis do not see any justice
  • + 2
 Bike Theft (or any theft) would not exist if buyers for the stolen items did not exist .If any of us were offered a high end bike or parts for cheap how many of us would buy them ,even using the excuse of "Well if I don't buy it someone else would "
  • + 2
 @SteelCityMTBer:
I agree. I wouldn't buy anything stolen. You never know when it might be your stuff on the shopping list for thieves.
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: you are doing a fantastic job with severely limited resources. I wonder what needs to happen to make the Government invest more in police resource - how bad do things need to get?

An under resourced police force and rising crime underpinned by an over-liberalised justice system is a recipe for chaos. Hans Rey, 3 times? Not exactly shy these thieves are they.

This should serve as a warning to all of us to beef up security as much as possible.
  • + 3
 @slimboyjim: Woop-woop thats the sound of the Police!
  • + 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: me thinks you have issues ! Lol
  • - 1
 @inked-up-metalhead: do you read the Daily Mail by any chance ?
  • + 1
 Thank you!!! Be safe out there!
  • + 6
 To defend @inked-up-metalhead he had a bad experience so I'm not criticising him or anyone else. I won't get into a big political argument as to why the police are currently in the position they find themselves in, but I just wanted to offer a bit of balance and an explanation.
Metalhead is also right in that there is a drop in public confidence (which we wish we could rectify). Bad news travels quickly and the nature of our service means that there's always something negative that can be said about us. Everyone expects a certain level of service and any crime has an impact on the victim (I am personally embarrassed by the service we now give as I joined when times were better, which is probably why I responded as I did). The good stuff we do will never make news in the same way as something negative, so can you blame people for having a negative view when that is what the media constantly portrays? I do think that there is a massive amount of damage currently being done to our reputation which will take years to put right, and whilst I don't agree with all of Metalheads comments (my colleagues had to deal with a guy run over by an hgv yesterday (killed almost instantly and there was only half of him left) and most deaths in this country are caused by traffic collisions, so whilst road policing isn't particularly sexy it is important!) he's right about that public confidence. Anyway, I'm off to do another 22hrs over the next 2 days so I'll leave it there.
Thank you to those who have been supportive.
  • + 1
 Redacted..
  • + 1
 @tremeer023: It's pretty bad already after that video of the officers being attacked (one of many i'm sure) and the Police chief stopping just short of asking the public to step into the fight to break it up and at the very least don't be an idiot and stand there filming it. But then there are also videos of the public doing just that. Its a fine line they have to walk.
  • + 3
 @slimboyjim: no how you feel, i'm a teacher, funding's reduced, expectation of what you should be doing increased. I'm a PE teacher and yet one of my responsibilities is now to teach prevent (being aware of extremist behaviour) to students. The subject i'm an expert in has now become a small part of my job. All public services in the UK are being run on a shoestring.
  • + 39
 I worked for a bike shop in the mid 90's. A shop on the other side of town was broken into. They took a few mid range bikes and one top of the line Trek 9900 carbon, XTR bike. The thief walked into our shop with the bike, it had a flat tire and needed a brake cable. The frame was wrapped in black electrical tape and the rest of it was spray painted black, rims and all. I knew it wasn't a ghetto bike. I told the guy it would be about 2 hours. Checked the serial number, called the police, and waited for his return. He was arrested, because it was $3000+, it was a felony. Had a long record and was on probation. Think he did 10 years for it. Sadly, no guns were drawn. Wink
  • + 21
 Sheeeeesh! Thiefs still have fingers (and hands) because removing them on a brutal, bloody and violent way isn't lawful... but sometimes US method of 12 ga double barrel could be handy too.
  • + 22
 Pretty sure the guy in the cctv footage was in Lord of the rings
  • + 8
 He has certainly never worked in a bike shop. Who carries bike boxes like that??
  • + 8
 I was thinking it was Jawas from Star Wars.
  • + 8
 @iamamodel: These are not the Oranges you are looking for...
  • + 10
 Oh man so hard to watch Hans talk about those bikes. Very clear to see they stole more than bikes! They stole Hans happiness. Had a friend react the same way out in White Fish when his Nomad was lifted. Its seriously heartbreaking when you lose the ability to go ride because of something like this! Hope they are CAUGHT and JUSTICE is served! Hans I hear ya man that sucks! Game Cameras Hans, even if they get the camera the pics are emailed already! Used on many trails to catch booby trappers! Just an idea.
  • + 1
 The problem is not the missing bikes, but the effort put into it to create that bike and the memories while riding it. And also that with the insurance payout, you can only afford to buy a basic bike back, not the high-end steed that was stolen.
  • + 12
 Gee Atherton looking for his next bike sponsor. He was wearing that same outfit in his Instagram stories!!!
  • + 10
 UK police response to high value bike theft is along the lines of "well you shouldn't have bikes worth that much, of course they're gonna get nicked".
  • + 8
 Eliminate the issue of having an expensive bike stolen,by owning a shit bike,works for me.
  • + 6
 I’ve been targeted twice now. I’m certain that local scumbags have seen me wheeling bikes from my front door into and out of the van.
The first time they broke into our shed round back. In there I have loads of power tools, a vintage Pashley that Im restoring and at the time it was broken into my uncle had given me a worthless old mtb that he didn’t want to get rid of and I was too polite to turn down. And, you guessed it, they took that POS and left the rest. Probably thought the pashley was a shit old bike and likely been told by somebody my bikes are worth a lot of money. But they wouldn’t have been able to get £3.50 for a beer for that thing.
They did me a favour, thank goodness they ain’t the sharpest creatures.
Second time they went straight into the van and found nothing but a chainsaw that had blown up that very day.
Sometimes it pays to leave your shit stuff lying around I guess. I know I was lucky, gave me the chance to increase security.
  • + 7
 My one hope is that Hans Rey’s bikes are so unique that the thieves are easily caught and a little mountain biker vigilante justice can be served up.
  • + 7
 Someone stole a completely unique and custom 36" mtb a few months ago in Germany and it came up for sale in Serbia. He bought the bike because it was the quicker and cheaper way to get it back.
  • + 6
 Man that crap is out of control. Same place broke into 3x! If that was my place I’d be sitting up at night with some heavy metal.
  • + 4
 We had this happen in our town a few years back. They followed bikers home with bikes on their racks, stole all the bikes they could, even came back the next day for some. In some cases they hit them again after they got insurance claims and new bikes!. They were showing up for sale on a Mexican facebook page. Guys got caught, did a year or so, got out and started hitting the same houses again! Even bringing battery powered cutting wheels and bolt cutters for locked bikes.
  • + 4
 I had 11k worth bikes stolen a few weeks ago. There has been multiple break ins of the same nature. High end bike owners targeted in my local area. Police show very little interest. Bike theft is on the increase in the UK fact. Keep your bikes safe dudes.
  • + 6
 UK invented the police force, UK is killing the police force, making way for private policing for those who can afford it,
  • + 1
 G4S are already involved, if it’s anything like their security in the Middle East you can expect widespread disorganisation and probably a smidge of corruption.
  • + 3
 I have a lot of issues with the behavior of my local PD, but they really do try and arrest people who are stealing bicycles.
Maybe since Pinkbike has a section in the Buy/Sell section listing stolen bikes, we should all check it before we buy a bike? And any other registry we know of as well.

And always get an ID when you buy a bike or parts. So if you find out that your purchase may have been stolen, maybe the ID wasn't fake and maybe you will help with the apprehension of a bike thief.

As for locks, any thief who comes with a cutting torch or angle grinder is going to get your bike. I lock up my commuter with a Pewag chain which at Rockwell 62C is much harder than a bolt cutter blade. And it weighs 10 lbs. It will be easier for a thief to cut the bike rack than that chain. The bad news for me is that they will do that.
  • + 1
 @Dangerous-Dan: Yeah - Pewag chain is one tough SOB. Also, Laclede chain is as stout if not more.
  • + 7
 crucify the theiving bastards
  • + 2
 Oh yeah, not sure what the local laws are but in the country I reside in those are felony thefts and they would definitely be worried about dropping the soap for a few years, if the countries in which these happened aren't harse enough on thefts, lobby your local magistrate, politician, etc to get the laws harshened up.
  • + 2
 Our politicians are too busy Cocking up that national suicide thingy called Brexit to do anything else!
  • + 3
 It's not all that long since the same happened to Trek in Sheffield. Seems very organised, high value stock targeted. Hopefully police will put 2 and 2 together and realise these probably aren't isolated incidents
  • + 1
 lol even if they did work that out, they are hardly likely to do sweet FA about it.
  • + 2
 I was a bike messenger in the 90's when my bike was stolen. 3 months later I saw the guy riding it. Chased him down while talking to the police on my large Motorola phone. He couldn't drop me. Finally, he gave up and I rode off with the bike on my shoulder. The guy was twice my size I wasn't going to tackle him. Police never showed up but having them on the phone convinced him to give it up.
  • + 2
 I live in Manchester, my two bikes live in my flat when not being ridden, after a couple of thefts. Some scroat nicked my seatpost and saddle a couple of months ago. My fault for leaving the QR on! Not vavuable at all, it was of my cheapish commute bike. I think they would have got about £2 if they hawked it round the local pubs. Cost me £40 fo replace though. They will literally nick anything in Manchester.

The scroats who nick mountain bikes have never even ridden a trail!
  • + 2
 Guys, why is there so much focus on the ads doing such a shit job in the UK, they are stretched granted, but the low life scum bags that are happy to break into places and rob bikes need a good kicking. I mean nicking bikes without forks, just goes to show how retarded these clowns are and know sweet FA as the fork is the 2nd most expensive part of the bike and lets be honest, would any of you bike a nice shiny new bike missing one vital component!!??
  • + 6
 你们的城市没有天眼系统吗?
  • + 2
 没有
  • + 14
 I dont know about putting mustard on fish and chips. Seems dangerous.
  • + 2
 It’s no worse than its ever been just happened to be a few high profile thefts this week. My Facebook feed is chocked full of people posting pics of their beloved bikes in the slim hope of getting them back
  • + 1
 UK police are terrible for bike thefts. When I was still living with my parents I had loads of bike parts stolen from the storage shed in the back garden. Took the police a whole 2 days to send somebody over to fingerprint (after typical British weather). Said they got nothing (obviously) and gave up.

Then in my own place, I had a bike stolen, nobody actually came over to inspect. Told me over the phone to go around local stores and neighbours and ask myself if they have captured anything on CCTV... As im sure you can imagine, if some random guy walks into a store and asks where the cameras are and which way they are pointing they are clearly not doing to tell me anything! Obviously that bike was never seen again either.
Throughout the years many of my friends bikes have been stolen from their properties (and they always had rather fancy ones) . And not a single one has had them recovered or properly looked into. Always a case of "just claim on your home insurance"...

This county is a joke.
  • + 3
 Unit cycles in Cornwall also got a massive break in lately and a lot of nice bikes nicked. This country is going down the drain becoming lawless!
  • + 1
 Going? Gone more like.
  • + 3
 If the coppers won't move for £10,000, maybe they'll move for £50,000? The theft from the bike shop alone is worth more than that. Brutal.
  • + 3
 Sounds like organized crime. I imagine all these bike will be sold in another country far away.
  • + 3
 Time for the popo everywhere to start taking bike theft much more seriously!
  • + 11
 Time to hide GPS trackers in bikes!
  • + 2
 @Beez177: working on it! Stay tuned!
  • + 1
 @zoobab2: please let me know what you come up with!
  • + 2
 Who’s Popo? Is that Dipsy and Laa-Laa’s Friend?
  • + 4
 Blame in on the local Chavs
  • + 3
 This guy gets it - scum twats doing their xmas shopping, simple as that
  • + 3
 My friend's shop in Colorado Springs was robbed last week. $35,000 worth of bikes stolen, including his personal bikes!
  • + 1
 What are the chances these are getting shipped out of the UK? With so many identifiable bikes,surely they are less likely to come back on sale in UK
  • + 1
 It always the same in the run up to Christmas. Really sad really when you think about the bigger picture. (For the record i'm not sympathising with the theifs).
  • + 1
 What are the chances these are getting shipped out of the UK? With so many identifiable bikes,surely they are less likely to come back on sale in UK
  • + 3
 They all need kneecapping
  • + 2
 @proegged And being de-nutted too. Those scumbags doesn't deserve to grab anything nor polluting the world with their descendants...
  • + 1
 @Topabajo: Unfortunately some Hitler guy ruined that idea for the rest of time by association.
  • + 0
 Reckon the BikeLife scum is the reason to blame for the spike in bike thefts- I keep seeing council estate toe rags riding bikes they can't possibly afford!
  • + 2
 Is that Ali G?

Hope they find everything and catch these dickheads.
  • + 2
 Probably all in Eastern Europe by now...
  • - 14
flag tacklingdummy (Dec 4, 2018 at 17:54) (Below Threshold)
 Open borders problem.
  • + 1
 C'est forcément un coup des gilets jaunes!
  • + 1
 Does anyone have any updates. On the Rocky Mountain stolen bikes?
  • + 14
 Yah they all broke and Rocky won't honour the warranties!
  • - 2
 How exactly do you get your garage broken into three times in such a short period of time? After the first break in wouldn't you, say, do something to prevent another break in?
  • + 2
 I recall from another article that Hans Rey is 5000 miles away from his garage. His son who was near did try to block the garage but he didn't have the keys so he couldn't move the inventory or block the garage from the inside. This sucks so bad. It isn't just bikes to Hans Rey. It is like souvenirs, memories and pictures from decades of traveling the world, meeting people and attending events are stolen.

I just don't get this. His bikes are priceless because of the history behind them. If you can't tell that story and it is also more likely people will notice these are stolen bikes (because this is a pretty high profile athlete) they can get next to nothing. They can try to sell separate components but if they were after that, they'd be better off stealing new boxed components from a bike shop.
  • + 4
 @vinay: Gotcha. I had no idea that this was an isolated storage spot. Nothing worse than having something bad happen and being unable to do anything about it.
  • + 1
 Shoot your local drug dealer !, And these problems would go away .
  • + 4
 Then another one turns up !
  • + 6
 Shoot him anyway lol
  • + 1
 @Matt115lamb: triple tap
  • - 1
 Bullshit - no users = no dealers.
  • + 4
 wut?
  • + 2
 really not that complicated - no big drug lords here- this is stealing for xmas - always ramps up this time of year, it is always great the few days after Xmas when we see a tiny little 8 year old twat riding a 29er specialized with no decals
  • + 1
 @makdthed: Also sucks when I grab that little f*cker too until I remedy my situation.
  • + 1
 Share the ride!
  • + 0
 Hope these cretins rot in their own fluids!!!
  • - 2
 Sounds like they are house in a reather jackable spot.
For them to get robbed twice!!

Oh what's that old adage?

Fool me once shame in you, fool me twice shame on me
  • + 12
 almost, its actually

“fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.” - Dubaya
  • + 8
 Remember that in your next elections lol
  • + 1
 @freestyIAM: If I don't know what to say I default to Who lyrics as well. Nothing wrong with that
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