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Bike Mafia Ravaging Reykjavík?

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Bike Mafia Ravaging Reykjavík?

Wow Cyclothon 2014

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

It used to be that almost nobody locked their bicycle up in Reykjavík—even expensive ones—there was simply no need. That has all changed.

Cyclists across the capital region are needing to keep their two wheels under closer guard as more and more have been stolen in recent years—but never as many as right now.

Vísir reports that since the beginning of this month, the police have received 41 notifications of stolen bikes, leading them to publicly remind people to securely lock bikes up.

Policeman Benedikt Lund told reporters that it has been confirmed that thieves are working in an organized fashion, patrolling the city in vans and stealing bicycles. In at least two cases over the last fortnight, thieves have entered residences in order to take bikes.

Many of the stolen bikes are then sent overseas for sale, and it is difficult and time consuming to monitor all shipping container traffic out of the country, the police explain.

“They often have very powerful clippers and manage to cut very strong locks. These are no teenagers,” Benedikt says.

Social media are buzzing gently about the 'bikenapping' scourge, and not least the Facebook community group for the Laugarnes area. Benedikt confirms that there have indeed been a lot of thefts in that part of the city—17 so far this month. He says people must be careful with their bikes; locking them indoors if possible.

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