Warning after spike in bike thefts in Castleford, Normanton and Knottingley

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Motorcyclists and scooter riders are being urged to make sure their vehicles are kept secured following an increase in bike thefts in parts of the Wakefield District.

Wakefield CID are appealing for information and advising owners to make sure their bikes are left locked up following a recent spike in offences in Castleford, Normanton and Knottingley.

A number of enquiries are ongoing into the increase in offences which began in late April and has seen thieves target lower CC machines such as 125CC motorcycles, mopeds and scooters.

Tips which riders can follow to better protect their machines include:

· Store them out of sight at night, preferably in a garage or a secured area.

· Lock them to an immovable object, such as a ground anchor, using a good quality industry approved lock

· Always put the steering lock on and- as a minimum- use a disc lock on a wheel if there is nothing to chain your machine too.

· Consider a Thatcham approved alarm/immobiliser

· Mark parts of your bike with your postcode or VIN number using a UAV pen to make it easier for your machine to be traced back to you if stolen.

Chief Insp Richard Close of Wakefield District Police, said: “We have noted an increase in thefts of these kinds over the last eight weeks and what is notable is that thieves appear to be targeting lower capacity 125cc or under machines in particular.

“One factor behind the apparent targeting of these machines may be because they are smaller and easier to handle and transport than heavier and capacity bikes.

“We are very keen to hear from anyone who may have information about the storage of these bikes in their communities or who may have been approached by persons offering to sell a scooter or bikes in suspicious circumstances.”

Sgt Paul Fraser of the Patrol Crime Team, said: “I would encourage anybody who has any information regarding who is committing these offences or where the stolen bikes are being kept to contact us.

“I would also advise anybody who owns a motorcycle or scooter to take extra care in how and where they park them and always use approved good quality motorcycle chains and a steering lock. Engine immobilisers can also be very effective

“Also, if possible, always try and secure your bike to a ground anchor or fixed street furniture as the harder you can make your machine to steal, the more chance a thief will move on for an easier target.”

Anyone who has information about motorcycle thefts is asked to contact Wakefield District CID on 101.

Information can also be given anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.