Stephen’s Day raid uncovers huge stolen bike stash

by Padraig Conlon

A quarter of a million-euro worth of suspected stolen bicycles were uncovered in a Stephens Day raid.

Gardaí from Pearse Street made the startling discovery of 116 bikes when they searched a container at Griffin allotments in Newcastle last Thursday morning.

They had obtained a search warrant following their ongoing investigations into the large-scale theft of bikes in the city centre.

Dublin Fire Brigade assisted Gardaí in getting into the 40-foot container where they located pedal cycles of all makes and models.

The bikes have been seized pending further technical exam and Gardai say they’ll try to identify the rightful owners.

Bikes that aren’t returned to owners will then be circulated on social media in the next few weeks.

The estimated value of the items is approximately €250,000 and as yet no arrests have been made.

A Garda spokesperson said investigations are ongoing.

“Gardaí in Pearse Street conducted a search on Thursday morning, 26th December, 2019 of a container at Allotments in Newcastle, Co. Dublin and located 116 pedal cycles suspected to be stolen property,” the spokesperson said.

“A search warrant was obtained by Gardaí from Pearse Street following ongoing investigations into the theft of bikes in the city centre.

“All items in the container were seized pending further technical examination.

“It is estimated that the value of the items is approximately €250,000 owing to the uniqueness and specialisation of the items.

“Gardaí from the Street Crime Unit in Pearse Street will endeavour to identify the rightful owners of the pedal cycles in due course and the items that are not returned to owners will be circulated via media in the coming weeks.”

It is believed the bicycles were being stored before they were due to be smuggled to criminal gangs across Europe.

According to the most recent figures 3,929 bicycles were reported stolen in Dublin in 2018, and of those only 286 were recovered.

It is estimated that over 140,000 bicycles have been stolen nationwide since 2016.

70 per cent of the reported bike thefts in Ireland occur in Dublin, with the average value of a bicycle €510.

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