A CYCLIST'S collection of bikes worth more than £3,000 were stolen by crooks who returned to the scene of the crime three times during their stealing spree.

Dusty Wilken's three bicycles were locked in a secure storage area at the Mill Apartments off East Street, Colchester, overnight on Monday.

But a pair of crooks used bolt cutters to get through the lock at the storage area in the early hours of Tuesday morning and bypassed the fob system to get into the brick outbuilding.

Once inside they nabbed one of his bikes and left the scene, but then came back twice more to steal the others.

Individual locks on each of the bikes were also cut off.


Taken - the Merida 29er

Mr Wilken, 48, said: "The caretaker at the building has CCTV and he said it shows them coming at 1.45am and then coming back three times between then and 3am.

"They were disturbed once when one of the neighbours put their lights on but carried on doing it."

Mr Wilken emigrated from South Africa just over a year ago and has only been in the apartment complex for a month.

Previously, he had kept his bikes in his apartment but took advantage of space not needed by his neighbours to store all of his bikes in the seemingly secured space.

He added: "The problem is we are not insured which is obviously our own fault and I accept that.

"I'm looking into whether the management agent has any block insurance.

"But storing them in the apartment became a problem when there were three bikes.

"One is fine but three becomes an issue.

"We put them in the outbuilding thinking they would be secured."


Stolen - a Scott 29er mountain bike 

A Scott Road bike worth £1500, a Merida 29er mountain bike valued at £800 and a Scott 29er mountain bike worth roughly £1000 were stolen.

Anyone with information should call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.