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'Devastated' Man who was robbed of bikes worth €138,000 says crooks cased shop beforehand

Cicli Sports is a family business which has been passed down through generations

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Mr Smyth believes the burglars cased his shop out before the burglary

Mr Smyth believes the burglars cased his shop out before the burglary

Mr Smyth believes the burglars cased his shop out before the burglary

A bike shop owner has said he believes thieves who stole high-end bicycles worth around £115,000 (€138,000) had been in his shop before to scout the place out.

Mr Smyth is the owner of Cicli Sport in Moneymore, County Derry, which was robbed in the early hours of Monday morning.

13 bikes and five bike frames were stolen from the shop on Market Street in the town.

The store sells top end bikes from brands prominent in big sporting events like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia such as Pinarello, Zipp, Specialized, Giant and Mavic.

Jonathan took over the running of the shop after his father passed away in October 2020.

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Jonathan Smyth in his store

Jonathan Smyth in his store

Jonathan Smyth in his store

His grandfather, Tommy, was a champion cyclist who also broke records on a tandem bike.

Since the burglary, Jonathan has taken to Facebook releasing the serial numbers of the bikes and bike frames, and has urged the public to be vigilant and to report anyone trying to sell similar high-end bikes or bike parts which match the descriptions of those stolen.

One of the bikes in particular Mr Smyth described as the “pinnacle of high end bikes”.

He told the BBC: "I sort of just feel devastated in that we are now three generations deep in trying to build this business and someone would have that mindset to do their best to try and destroy it.

"That's not going to happen. We are still very much in business."

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Jonathan said the thieves knew exactly what they were going for, ignoring the modestly priced bikes and going for the high-end builds

Jonathan said the thieves knew exactly what they were going for, ignoring the modestly priced bikes and going for the high-end builds

Jonathan said the thieves knew exactly what they were going for, ignoring the modestly priced bikes and going for the high-end builds

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Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, he explained: “It’s devastating. There were 18 bikes [and bike frames] taken, worth £116,400 in total.

“The most expensive was a custom-built bike worth over £15,000 which had been put together for a particular customer with expensive wheels, an expensive saddle and groupset. It was on an expensive frame. Some of the other bikes range upwards of £5,000 apiece.

“The thieves walked past and left the bikes that cost £2,000 and £3,000, so they knew exactly what they were going after.”

He added: “As far as we’re aware, there hasn’t been a bicycle robbery of this size in all of Ireland and possibly the UK.”

He also said he believes at least one of the burglars had been in the store before to case the place before the theft.

Meanwhile Jonathan has posted a list of the bikes stolen and the serial numbers here.

The police have asked anyone who was in the Market Street area between 2am and 3.30am on Monday morning and who may have seen anything suspicious to contact them.

A spokesperson said: “One is described as wearing black tracksuit bottoms, a black hoodie, a mask and a hoodie.

“The other male is believed to be wearing grey trousers, a dark hoodie, orange mask and hood.

“Both of the men appear to be wearing gloves.

“They are observed carrying the stolen bikes across the front of the shop towards the Circular Road on foot, and were last spotted just before 3.30am.

“Anyone who was in the area at the time and may have witnessed any suspicious activity or has dash-cam footage is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference number 348 of 07/03/22.”

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