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Man arrested over theft of 116 bicycles worth estimated €250,000

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Gardaí have arrested a man in connection with the seizure of a container of 116 bicycles in Dublin last year.

A male in his 40s was detained during a follow-up search operation in Cavan on Saturday morning as part of the investigation into the discovery of the bicycles in a container stored at allotments in Newcastle, Co Dublin on December 28th, 2019.

The container was examined as part of ongoing investigations by gardaí from Pearse Street into the theft of bikes in Dublin city centre.

It is estimated the combined value of the stolen bikes, many of which were hi-spec models, found in the container was about €250,000.

At 6.30am on Saturday morning, gardaí attached to the Street Crime Unit and District Detective Unit at Pearse Street carried out a planned search of a residence in Drumgola Wood on the outskirts of Cavan town.

During the course of the search, gardaí seized €7,000 in cash as well as a large amount of financial documentation and memory sticks containing photographs of suspected stolen property, including bicycles.

Following examination of the documents, gardaí arranged to have €122,500 frozen in various bank accounts, while a further €6,000 was discovered in a follow-up search of the house.

The suspect was arrested at the scene and is currently being detained at Pearse Street Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

A Garda spokesman said investigations were continuing.

Gardaí believe a large quantity of bicycles stolen in Dublin each year are taken as part of an organised criminal network.

An average of 14 bikes were stolen in the Republic each day last year according to official crime figures, although cycling campaigners believe the true figure could be up to three times higher.

Figures based on the Garda Pulse system show a total of 5,258 bicycles were reported stolen during 2019, with 71 per cent of all thefts recorded in Dublin.

Last year’s figure represents a 2 per decrease on the number of bicycles stolen in 2018 and it is the lowest annual total in the past five years.

Theft of bicycles peaked in 2017 when almost 6,000 were stolen.

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