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UK

13/02/2018

A Bristol bike thief has threatened to torch a 1951 Triumph Thunderbird unless its owner pays up – just days after police issued an appeal for information.

The bike, PF0 766, was stolen from a Clifton garage and later spotted by police in Southmead.

Images of the machine – which is worth between £7000 and £10,000 – have since surfaced on a private Instagram page belonging to the alleged thief. Posting with the handle "biketakerrr", the alleged thief shamelessly starts the "bidding" at £1000 – referring to the stolen bike as an “old banger”.

The Instagram account is the latest to have been set up as part of the notorious Bristol bike gang, which first came to prominence in January last year.

The gang – which is mostly comprised of youths and teenagers from north Bristol - steals bikes while boasting about their exploits online.

A number of members of the gang have been caught and prosecuted by the police in the last year - who set up a special investigation, named Operation Buell, to monitor the gang’s online presence – but this latest account would suggest the Bristol bike gang is still active.

Although the ‘biketakerrr’ page is private, meaning its contents cannot be viewed unless followers are approved, the Bristol Post has been sent screenshots by members of the motorcycling community who are covertly investigating.

The page biography is as brazen as the thieves who hide behind it, taunting the police with statements like “no face no case” and “f*** ASP” – the abbreviation for Avon and Somerset Police.

UPDATE