BIKES worth nearly £10,000 were stolen from a Westbourne cyclist’s garage.

Chris Courage, who spoke to the Daily Echo last summer after he was sent flying and his bike broken in two in a crash, returned home from a holiday on Tuesday, March 4, to find four prized bikes raided.

The 31-year-old said burglars had inflicted considerable damage on the reinforced garage door, in Grosvenor Road, while levering it open, and that police had told him a long pole must have been used.

“When I went away the garage was locked up, and all the bikes were chained up except the one which was damaged in the crash last year, which I was taking to bits for parts,” he said.

“My neighbour said the door was intact at 4am on the night it happened, but when my flatmate went to work at 7am he found the door hanging off.

“I got back about 10.30am. They took a race bike and a stunt bike, both carbon fibre and brand new last year, a road bike and the one which was split in two, but the parts were still worth a couple of thousand pounds.”

Mr Courage said he believed he had been specifically targeted by thieves who had been following him and knew the value of the bikes.

“In June last year a bunch of kids tried to break in, and a few weeks later my girlfriend at the time came face-to-face with them trying to cut the lock,” he said.

“I think they must have told someone who knew what they were doing. I pay nearly £2,000 a year in insurance, and I’m glad of that now. But the worst thing is wondering whether any new bikes I buy will be safe.”

The stolen bikes are a grey and white Cannondale F29 Carbon 2 on which the front fork has only one arm, a black and blue Specialised FSR Stunt Jumper with custom saddle, a red Specialised Tarmac road bike with a Cycle Ops front wheel and missing back wheel, and the damaged Scott Scale Twentyniner.

Dorset Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to call 101, quoting incident number 4:106, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.