This weekend (Sunday May 17th) saw the Police tackle a Brick Lane market stall suspected of being part of a criminal network behind the theft, dismantling and sale of stolen bicycles.
Seven men were arrested as part of a co-ordinated proactive operation by the City of London police supported by the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, Transport for London and Tower Hamlets Council targeting those involved in the trade in stolen bikes.
The men – aged 21, 29, 34, 38, 44, 47, 49 – were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and money laundering and are currently in custody at a central London police station.
The market stall in Brick Lane is believed to be a location where stolen bikes were bought and sold on to others at prices well below the legitimate price.
20 suspected stolen bicycles were seized as part of the operation. Bike parts included high value items like Brooks saddles, the Police said. Parts will be checked to see if the owners marked them, so they can be returned.
This joint operation aimed at the trade in stolen bicycles will continue in the coming months.
“Today’s arrests show that the trade in stolen bikes will not be tolerated and we are working with our partners to dismantle these businesses," said Detective Inspector Doug Blackwood of the City of London Police.
“I would also like to tell those people that are buying expensive bicycles for a fraction of their value that you could well be handling stolen goods. This is a criminal offence and the old adage applies, if the price of a bike seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Today’s action won’t be the last and I would urge anyone with information on the trade in stolen bikes to call police on 101. If you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
There were 375 bikes stolen in the Square Mile between April 2014 and March 2015.