Cyclists have been warned to safely lock up their bikes as thieves continue to target the borough.

Police said Richmond was attractive to crooks who scoured stations and town centres looking for expensive cycles.

Cyclist Gino Rosato lost three bikes worth £2,400 in just a year, with thieves stealing two of them within a fortnight.

He had left them outside Twickenham stadium, Teddington station and a house in Whitton.

He said: “Apparently bike theft is the highest reported crime in this area so surely can nothing more be done to prevent this?

“I haven’t got a new one just yet as I can’t afford it. An awareness campaign would be great but also ideas like getting your bike marked by police and having them spend a bit more time looking out at certain hotspots.”

Acting Chief Inspector of safer neighbourhoods Hannah Wheeler, of Richmond police, said: “Bike theft is a crime that can take mere seconds to commit and the culprits are often aided by bike owners leaving their cycles poorly secured in public places, outside their homes and in sheds and garages.

“This is at great expense to cyclists whose bikes are worth hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds.

“Regardless of the bike’s value, the impact of its theft can go beyond affecting the victim. Once stolen, a bike, whether high-value or clapped out, can be used to commit other crimes and antisocial behaviour in the community, and can be sold online to help fund a criminal’s lifestyle.”

Acting Chief Insp Wheeler urged people to report thefts to police to help them build a picture of which areas of the borough crooks were targeting.

She also encouraged riders to secure their bikes with two different types of lock to make it harder for opportunistic thieves.

She added: “Keep your bike locked up inside your home if you can. Front gardens, back gardens and even sheds − which often are not well secured − are all too easy for opportunists to take bikes from.”

Cyclists can also get their safer neighbourhood team to security mark their bike, or can visit