A cycling aficionado had his entire collection of racing bikes stolen after thieves tracked down his home using routes he previously published on fitness app Strava. Adam Jones, from Barling, Essex, was stunned when his garage area was broken into and five top-of-the-range bikes worth more than £12,500 were nabbed. The 51-year-old is certain that the criminals specifically targeted him after he publicly published results of rides on Strava – an application trusted in the cycling and running areas for individuals to compare their times.
The PR advisor thinks that he was targeted because his route times were relatively fast and the thieves deducted that he was using expensive bikes. He could be now warning other cyclists to stay vigilant and ensure they have their Strava settings on ‘private’ – or at least make sure they do no record their routes until they may be further abroad. Share He said: ‘After the break-in I was thinking it needed been a person who knows me – it experienced so targeted and very personal.
I was beginning to look over my make and thinking ‘who could it be’. But then after talking with one of the bicycling shops here the chap said ‘are you quick and are you on Strava? I had fashioned no proven fact that what criminals are doing is training where people are cycling and on what routes, using that to monitor their current address then. The correlation has been made by them between people posting quick times and probably having the better, equipment. The lifelong cycling enthusiast thinks criminals are even using sociable media to identify when people post pictures of expensive new bikes.
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We are inadvertently using social mass media as a shop windows for the thieves. I put a gormless picture of me on Facebook with my new BMC bike – it’s like an advert stating ‘come and take me’. Folks are riding round on bikes worth six, eight, even ten thousand pounds so it is a lot of money for the criminals.
I just hadn’t made the bond of what was happening and undoubtedly because the bikes were taken all my friends were saying ‘do you have your personal privacy configurations ‘on’, on Strava? Adam said his wife Tracy, 47, have been left fearful following the break-in at their house. The individuals who broke in selected the bikes they needed so knew exactly what these were doing.
Police told Adam they have observed a growth in the amount of bike thefts in recent years. He believes the number of so-called ‘Mamils’ – middle-aged men in Lycra – is helping to drive the criminality because of the huge amounts of people are happy to fork out on the specialist bikes.
The thieves stole Adam’s Specialized Tarmac bike, appreciated at £1,500, his Inifinito CV, worthy of about £4,000, a Dolan Scala time-trial bike, worth about £2,000, a Bianchi Oltre XR2 worthy of £2,5000 and a BMC Roadmachine, valued at about £2,700. He hopes other cyclists won’t make the same mistake. There are a lot of new riders out there with a lot of gear – I simply want my story to help others from having their treasured items being pinched. My advice is always to check your privacy configurations on Strava, strengthen the security of your prized possessions, and ensure that your insurance is fully current.
My time trial bike isn’t something you can trip to the shops on, to obtain a packet of crisps and a Pot Noodle. Essex Police is investigating the overnight theft which Adam and Tracy uncovered on Wednesday morning. They said: ‘We are investigating following a burglary in Barling Magna where five bicycles worth a total of the five-figure sum were taken.
A spokesperson for Strava said: ‘Strava hasn’t seen any confirmed cases of bicycle theft related to our platform. However, we encourage our members to understand what they discuss on all sorts of social media. Our platform has a suite of tools to help control what you share, including privacy areas, that may hide the finish and begin factors of your activity if they fall within the area.
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