RESIDENTS in Rishton are being warned to keep their bikes more secure after a recent spate of thefts.

Thieves have smashed their way into sheds across the town, taking bikes worth up to £900.

Police appealed for help in catching the culprits after 13 bikes were stolen in the last three months.

PCSO Steve Charnley said: “There’s been a large increase. Thieves are getting into people’s back gardens and breaking into sheds. It seems to be mainly bikes that are being taken – I’m only aware of one case where something else was taken, and that was golf clubs.

“I’ve asked officers from other towns and they don’t seem to be having much of a problem, so it’s obviously somebody in Rishton.

“It seems to happen overnight or very early on in the morning, and it does seem to be they’re targeting the high class estates.”

One resident, Zoe Allder, said two bikes were stolen from her shed last month.

Speaking on Rishton First, a website set up for residents in the town, she said: “We know who was responsible as my son saw them on the bikes on his way home from work. I informed police and gave them the names.”

And Emma Holden said: “My daughters went out the garden on Tuesday night. I should’ve locked it up properly, I know this, but it’s still annoying.” Local councillor Ken Moss added: “We’ve had a notification from the police that there’s been a spate of bike thefts. Our advice is for people to keep their sheds locked and to lock their bikes within the sheds.

“We’re always grateful for people who come forward with any information.”

Bike owners have been urged to lock their bike frames to a pair of step ladders, or other bulky equipment kept in their sheds.

Parents should also be wary of their children leaving them unattended while playing outside.

Report any information to police by calling 101, or report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.