Wigan cycling shop hit by Â£50,000 burglary
A Wigan cycle shop is desperately appealing for information after burglars made off with Â£50,000 of expensive, top-quality bikes.
Winstanleys Bikes at Martland Mill was raided last weekend with cycles worth up to Â£5,000 vanishing in a brazen crime.
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The shop’s owners say CCTV footage from a neighbouring company showed a van was driven up to the Fourmarts Road premises and was loaded up with bicycles and on its way again within 10 minutes.
The burglars smashed their way into the premises through a fire door to gain access to one of the main showrooms.
Some of the offenders even made their getaway from the business on two wheels using machines they had just stolen.
Managing director Carl Winstanley said the raid, which happened at about 9pm on Sunday April 8, has had a devastating impact.
He said: “The alarm company rang me up to say there had been a break-in. They were calling the police and I was ringing them on 999 on hands-free as I was making my way up there.
“The first thing I saw was this water bottle in the car park. They had shut the door behind them and I suspected immediately something had happened.
“The police turned up about 10 minutes after me and we went in. I realised they had stolen loads of bikes. There was a whole row of bikes that had just disappeared from the showroom. A few others from either side had gone as well.
“If people see any of the bikes that match our list of what is missing then they could perhaps take a photo and email it to us so we can forward the information onto the police.
“We wanted to tell everyone what had happened straight away but were very worried about them coming back. If they could get through a fire door once they could do it again.
“It was a shocking incident and I am absolutely gutted.”
The bikes taken in the raid include three road machines, two BMX cycles and 13 mountain bikes, with a full list of what has gone being put on a website for eagle-eyed searchers to use.
Carl says the firm has had to invest around Â£10,000 on security since the incident, with new cameras being put around the building and fire entrances and exits being reinforced with bars and shutters.
CCTV footage which Carl sourced from nearby premises in the area seems to indicate a gang of criminals are responsible, though unfortunately the images were too blurry to make out many of the details.
Concerningly Carl says he heard in the industry that a similar raid on a bike shop took place in Lancashire a week or so before Winstanleys Bikes was attacked, with expensive mountain bikes again being the main target.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said they were called at 9.25pm on Sunday April 8 to reports of a break-in.
No arrests have been made so far and an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can ring 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Information about the missing cycles can be found here