POLICE investigating a spate of bike thefts across South Ribble have uncovered a hoard of rare and valuable bike parts in a professional style ‘chop shop’ in Penwortham.
Dozens of bikes have been stripped down and sold for parts, or refurbished for sale as complete cycles.
Among the haul, discovered in two lock ups in the Howick area of Penwortham, are rare bikes and parts from two antique bikes, and a number of high value high performance components.
One of the lock-ups had been converted into a workshop for working on the pedal bikes,
PC Mike Sampson, of South Ribble police, said: “This was a professional set-up. As well as the bike parts we found tools, grinders, equipment for spraying and changing the appearance of the bikes.”
Officers called in an expert from a local cycling shop who said some of the frames were worth upwards of £1,000 and a wheel discovered in the lock-up was worth over £700.
Now the police are hoping to reunite the haul with its rightful owners.
A number of items have been identified but many remain unclaimed.
PC Sampson said: “We believe the vast majority of these bikes have been taken in burglaries from sheds or garages.
“It is clear that this offender has been stripping them, down and respraying them, or refurbishing them and selling them on.”
A number of other valuable items including iPads and mobile phones were discovered in the lock-ups in Howick Cross Lane.
A man from Penwortham has been arrested in connection with the find.
If you have been the victim of a bike theft contact the South Ribble Neighbourhood Team on 01772 415772 or use the non-emergency police number 101.
Visit www.stayintheknow for regular crime updates in your local area.