A BURGLARY has left staff and businesses reeling after £30,000 worth of bikes and other items were stolen from an industrial unit in Nelson on Saturday.

Around seven masked assailants arrived in two vehicles at the unit in Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, which belongs to bike maintenance and repair firm The Bicycle Doc Ltd, just after 6pm on April 23.

According to business owner Chris Franklin, whose unit was closed, the group threatened his neighbour at The Window Blind Centre - before locking the owner of that unit in - and decimating the entrance to Chris’ unit.

They ransacked the floor and stole seven of The Bicycle Doc’s customer’s bikes, which were in for repairs, and other items.

They stole a further five electric bikes belonging to Padiham eBike retailer Avaris eBikes - these were fully refurbished and ready to be donated to people with health conditions and injuries as part of the firm’s Free Ride to Recovery Initiative.

The people who receive these bikes often struggle to partake in traditional exercise or regular cycling due to the strain on their body, and so rely on the help of assisted pedal-power.

The burglars also stole the black prototype for Avaris eBikes’ new mountain eBike which was set to launch in July - the only bike of its kind in existence. This takes the total to 13 stolen bikes.

Chris, who works for Avaris eBikes and runs his own maintenance and repair firm The Bicycle Doc Ltd, said: “At about 6.10pm about seven people turned up in a gold BMW X5 and a black Fiat Ducato Van. Some of them were wearing masks.

“Our neighbour notified us of the break in and the group took what they could in the five or so minutes before the police arrived. They decimated the entrance to our unit and ransacked the shop floor.

“Thanks to the incredible bravery and courage shown by our neighbour in what must have been a very scary scenario, it was highly likely the burglars had to shoot off earlier than they planned thanks to him calling the police.

“Thirteen of our loyal customers' bikes were taken, along with cash registers and a bike helmet, to the total value of around £30,000.”

Chris added the family-run business is 'absolutely gutted' about the break-in and is appealing to anyone who may have any information about it to contact the police.

He said: “We’re still a very new business in its infancy, working hard to get our feet off the ground in a very competitive market. 

“We were really happy and excited to move into our new larger premises a few weeks ago, where things have been superb so far, but unfortunately we’ve taken a massive knock off the back of this.

“We know it’s not our fault, but we can’t help but feel down and apologetic to all our customers, who along with our lost assets, have had their pride and joys taken too. Our customers and followers have been superb and very supportive, and I know that together we’ll all get through this.

“We would be grateful if anyone with any information about this, or who sees any of the stolen bikes, to contact the police.”

The incident happened at Unit 21, Churchill Way, Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, Nelson, on Saturday, April 23 at 6.10pm.

If you have any information regarding the thefts and break-in, please speak to Lancashire Police, citing the crime reference number LC-20220423-1072.

The full list of stolen bikes is as follows: 

Bike 1: Green and Black Cannondale Lefty Full Carbon 29”. There is only one in the UK that has this colour format as it’s a factory team racing bike, so it’s distinct and easy to notice.

Bike 2: Red & Black Giant Reign Advanced. The bike has had a brand new drive train added, brand new distinctive tan tyres and brand new clipless pedals added. This bike is in a very good condition, and to a potential buyer will look as good as new. There was also a black fox helmet taken with this bike.

Bike 3: Black Avaris MTB eBike. There is only one of these bikes in the world, so if this one is seen, it’s 100% a stolen bike. This bike is a prototype, yet to be released by its manufacturer. The left crank on this bike is bent out of shape, so to a rider it will feel very strange and uncomfortable to ride. The gears are also faulty, so a rider will be experiencing very poor shifting.

Bike 4: Navy Blue & Red Haibike Hardnine Sduro eBike. This bike will have no battery, battery cover or charger with it. It also has a fault with the Yamaha motor, which was due to be repaired under a warranty claim. Again very distinct information to any potential buyer.

Bike 5: Black Kids Carrera Vengeance. This bike had a damaged rear derailleur and is not rideable. It also has an extremely worn rear tyre.

Bike 6: Grey and Black Transition Carbon Frame Sentinel (Frame Number TBC4303066). This bike was part of a build project. It has just had added some Fox 36 Rhythm forks, Guide RSC brake and rotors, Bontrager Line Comp 30 rims/tyres and a Shimano XTR M970 crank set. This bike's rear wheel has the freehub, cassette and chain missing, so again very distinct information to any potential buyer.

Bikes 7-11: Avaris 2.3 Road eBikes (x5 of these taken). These were all ex-display/returned/demo bikes which were refurbished ready to be donated to people with health conditions, so although they look quite new, they will all have signs of usage. Some will not have a charger with them, so if you need to buy a charger, alarm bells should be ringing.

Bike 12: Grey & Green Haibike 40 Cross MTB eBike. The Bosch motor on this bike doesn’t work and was in for warranty work. Not many of these about, so another distinctive bike to look out for on all the selling forums please.

Bike 13: Red and Black Giant Defy Pro 1 Advanced Carbon (Frame Number: WSBC602082492I).