POLICE are stepping up patrols after more than 30 bike thefts were reported in a town in seven weeks.
A total of 32 thefts were recorded in the town between May 1 and June 16 in areas of Worthing including Splash Point, Montague Street, Marine Parade and Worthing railway station.
The most commonly stolen bikes are Carrera mountain or hybrid bikes, with thieves typically using bolt cutters to remove locks.
Dedicated patrols have been carried out in hotspot areas where the majority of thefts have occurred in response.
Sergeant Isobel Wimbleton of the Adur and Worthing neighbourhood policing team said: “Bike theft is particularly prevalent in Worthing at the moment.
"We understand the financial and emotional impact it can have on victims, and that’s why we’re stepping up patrols in a bid to prevent and detect further offences.
“We will be running a community bike marking event at Morrison’s on 16 July from 10am to 12pm in conjunction with neighbourhood watch, and would encourage cyclists to come and speak with us, and to get their bikes marked.
"This can act as a deterrent to thieves and also help to identify your bike in the event it is stolen and recovered.
“We will also be in attendance at the Sid Youth Summer Event on Friday 5 August from 12pm to 4pm at Sompting Recreational Ground, where we will also be bike marking.
“Our advice to cyclists is to securely lock your bike in a well-lit and busy area, and to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us.”
In nearby Horsham, a 24-year-old man from Crawley was arrested on suspicion of attempted theft and has been released under investigation after police received a report of a bike theft in progress at Sainsbury’s in East Street.
Officers responded to the incident and three bikes were recovered, one of which was stolen the previous month and has been returned to its owner.
Sgt Wimbleton said: “We have identified several suspects for some of the recent bike thefts in Worthing and once our enquiries are complete we will be conducting interviews and making arrests if necessary.
"Thanks to members of the public we have also identified a suspect from an appeal we put out recently, and our inquiries into this continue.”
Advice on how to protect your bikes from theft can be found on Sussex Police’s website.