BIKE thefts in North Swindon have surged in recent weeks as five specialist bicycles worth more than £20,000 were taken from a house in Taw Hill.

Overnight on Wednesday, the expensive bikes were stolen from a secure garage, with the most expensive worth more than £8,000.

Police are urging all residents in North Swindon to be alert to any suspicious activity, and to contact them with any information about the recent thefts.

PCSO Emma Harriman said: “Bikes are a very popular item to be stolen. They are easy to make disappear without being obvious about it. If it is not secure it will frequently fall victim to opportunists.

“We have had some incidents where they have been inside garages but they haven’t been secure.

“What is slightly more concerning in the last couple of days is that we had a few incidents, specifically in Taw Hill, where some high-value bikes have been stolen.

“This particular incident is very different to previous ones. There are a lot of bikes going missing from all over Swindon, but there appears to be two different types of incident going on.

“This has happened overnight between May 7 and 8 at a house in Taw Hill. They have forced entry into the garage. The bikes were secured inside the garage, and in total five bikes and a remote control car were taken.

“One of the bikes, a Pinarello Dogma racing cycle, in black with a flourescent yellow seat, is worth around £8,000, and was in brand new condition.

“The second bicycle, a specialised Venge F-Works racing cycle in red white and black, costs between £6,000 and £8,000.

“A third cycle, a specialised Crux cycle-cross bike in red and white, is worth around £1,800. Costings for the other two bikes are not yet clear.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Many of the bikes taken have been expensive and specialist models, which have been secured inside the garage, but the offenders have used tools to break in and take the items. Anyone with information which could help to trace these burglars should be called in on 101 as soon as possible.

“Cyclists are being asked to take as many precautions as possible to protect their property, be wary of anyone who appears to be taking particular notice of your bike, and ensure that expensive models are insured or covered by your home policy.

“It is also important to make sure you have a photograph of your bike, keep a note of the frame number or any distinguishing marks, and have some proof of ownership if you can.

“You can register your bike on sites such as Immobilise to make sure this information is recorded.”