Cyclists in Dubai have been warned not to leave their bikes locked up near Metro stations after a spate of thefts in recent weeks.
Individual carbon-fibre racing bikes worth up to Dh30,000 each have been stolen, along with other cheaper bikes used by commuters to cycle into work, victims said.
In reaction to the thefts, cyclists have established an online group called Hunters Dubai to share information and warn those looking to buy used bikes online that may be stolen.
Group founder Michael Kakashi, 23 from the Philippines, had a mountain bike worth about Dh1,000 stolen from the cycle park at Rigga Metro Station while he was at work in Dubai Investments Park last year.
“One of our members had his bike stolen from Burjaman, but police said they would only investigate if he could provide a receipt as proof of ownership,” he said.
“They said they could only open a case once a receipt had been presented, and would only check the CCTV camera footage once a case had been opened.
“All we can do is encourage other cyclists not to park their bikes by Metro stations.”
A green Java Furia mountain bike was taken from outside Abu Baker Al Siddique Metro Station in Deira on February 10 and a black Trek off-road bicycle was stolen from outside Oud Metha Metro Station the week before.
A member of Cycle Safe Dubai reported that her two Cervelo carbon framed bikes were taken from a private garden near Park View, Mirdif on the morning of February 8.
“I’ve been following posts on social media from other cycling groups and between 10 and 11 bikes have been stolen in the last few weeks,” said Erika, who did not want to give her full name.
“My friend’s bike was stolen from Jumeirah Lakes Triangle, but they are being taken from all over Dubai. Even bikes locked up are being cut loose.
“We suspect there is a chop-shop somewhere in Bur Dubai where they are keeping the stolen bikes and breaking them up for parts and then sold.
“Tyres, brakes and any mechanical parts can be sold easily and are hard to trace If they are stolen.”
The bike thefts are the latest petty crime-wave to plague Dubai, following numerous break-ins reported in Arabian Ranches Two.
Police and security guards beefed-up security in the Casa community after several homes were targeted by criminals in October.
Dubai Police encouraged residents concerned about neighbourhood break-ins to sign up to their home security programme where cameras can be installed free of charge.
Information and warning boards were also raised in vulnerable communities, urging people to lock their doors and windows.
Similar signs have been recently erected near Metro stations, warning cyclists about leaving bikes unattended.
Frankie Boton, founder of the UAE Mountain biking Jumeirah, said thefts around Metro stations and parks in Dubai have been steadily increasing since last year.
“We have had at least 12 bikes stolen so far in 2020, but many more were stolen in 2019,” he said.
“One of our members had two bikes stolen from outside a Metro station.
“It is happening more often at the crowded stops like Karama, Burjuman, Deira and World Trade Centre.
“People cycle to the stations and then leave their bikes while they are at work.
“Some cost just Dh500, but others stolen from villas and flats can cost more than Dh30,000 each.” More