Copenhagen Police have arrested a group of 12 Lithuanian nationals thought to all belong to a gang that has been stealing and sending up to 100 bikes a week out of the country.
Police inspector Karl Erik Agerbo from Task Force Indbrud, a Zealand burglary task force, said that the department has had their eye on the thieves for a while.
“We investigated the case for a month and have now made some arrests,” Agerbo said.
The gang plucked new and expensive bikes costing in the 5,000-10,000 kroner range from train stations and other locations around the city. They hid the stolen bikes in wooded areas in Vestskoven and Fasanskoven until they had enough to ship to Lithuania.
“We believe that they may have been sending as many as 100 bicycles each week out of the country for some time, but at this stage we really do not know how many bikes in total may have been taken,” Agerbo said.
Police in Lithuania and Latvia, where the gang was storing the stolen bikes, are cooperating with Copenhagen police to get the bikes returned to their rightful owners.
“If a bike has been reported stolen and the registration number is on file, we can probably figure out who it belongs to,” Agerbo said.
The 12 men arrested were between 18 and 25 years old. They are all being held on theft charges. Some are also charged with burglary for breaking into a residence to steal the tools they used to break locks on the bikes.
“We believe that we have them all," said Agerbo. “Now the job is to see that they are prosecuted and get the stockpiled bikes back home.”