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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 February 2021

Cyclists issue warning after spate of Dubai Metro bike thefts

More than a dozen bikes have been reported stolen from parks and Dubai Metro stations in just four weeks

Mike Kakashi, left, and Ace Sarmiento near Al Rigga Metro Station, where their bikes were stolen from the metal bracket stands. Victor Besa / The National 
Mike Kakashi, left, and Ace Sarmiento near Al Rigga Metro Station, where their bikes were stolen from the metal bracket stands. Victor Besa / The National 

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 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 Al Rigga Metro Station while he was at work in Dubai Investment Park last year.

All we can do is encourage other cyclists not to park their bikes by metro stations

Michael Kakashi

“One of our members had his bike stolen from BurJuman, 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 Village 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 that are then sold.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 20, 2019. UAE weather: rainfall and storms arrive at downtown Abu Dhabi. -- Abu Dhabi residents on their bikes enjoying the cool weather. Victor Besa / The National Section: NA Reporter:
New paths and better facilities has led to a rise in cycling but many riders don't lock their bikes up. Victor Besa / The National

“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 targets of 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 Jumeirah branch of the UAE Mountain biking club, said thefts around Metro stations and parks in Dubai have been increasing steadily 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 Dubai 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.”

The MTB Jumeirah group of cyclists meet up every Sunday at 8pm at the Red Table Restaurant in Satwa for an urban bike ride.

Mr Boton, 48, an engineer from the Philippines, said more expensive bikes are easily traceable and often have unique security numbers embedded onto the framework.

“Criminals are more likely to break up these expensive racing bikes to sell off the parts online, as they are harder to trace,” Mr Boton said.

The Roads and Transport Authority would not comment on the disappearances near to Metro stations and said it was a police matter.

Dubai Police did not respond to a request for comment.

Updated: March 8, 2020 06:43 PM

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