Cambridge cycle theft 'falls after bike shop sting'

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Police in Cambridge say bicycle theft has fallen by a quarter following an undercover sting operation and other campaigns.

Officers said that in 2010 2,870 bikes were stolen, compared to 2,146 in 2011.

Last year, as part of Operation Northwood, undercover officers set up a second-hand bike shop in Arbury Road and recovered 500 stolen items.

As a result, police said 20 thieves were convicted for the bike thefts and other crimes.

Sgt Mike Barnshaw, who leads the city centre bike unit, said it was also important for bicycle owners to make it harder for thieves.

He said: "There is money to be made in second-hand bikes, because the cost of a new cycle runs into hundreds of pounds.

"My team has been in colleges during Freshers' Week, trying to get the message across to students to lock their bikes up, and to chain them to railings or bike racks.

"We've been speaking about the immobilise scheme, where you can register the serial number of the bike online, making it easier for police to identify bikes stolen within the city."

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