POLICE raided a Burscough motorbike showroom as part of a major crackdown on scrap metal theft.
Lancashire Constabulary have now confirmed they seized one stolen motorbike and two motorbikes suspected of being stolen from Blacks Bikeshop on Burscough industrial estate.
Officers have also taken away several frames and parts from the showroom, which they suspect of being stolen, after the raid last Thursday morning.
Mr Black, who owns the business on Kestrel Place, told the Advertiser: “The bikes which police say are stolen or suspected of being stolen were in for repair. They inspected around 250 of my retail stock bikes and did not find any stolen vehicles.
“There is no national database for motorcross bikes so a business cannot check if they are stolen.”
Officers from Lancashire, Merseyside Police and Greater Manchester Police took part in the raid – codenamed Operation Starling – which is targeting the trade in stolen metal.
Between April 2010 and March 2011 there were 3,014 metal theft crimes in Lancashire. This is a 48.3% increase on the 1,558 reported crimes between April 2009 and March 2010.
Thieves have been stealing lead flashing, copper boilers, piping and cables from train lines.
Chief Inspector Jon Bullas, who has been overseeing the operation, said: “We are committed to tackling the problem of metal theft which costs victims in Lancashire thousands of pounds each year.
“Thieves have targeted homes and businesses as well as buildings like churches, causing significant damage and distress.
“It is our firm intention to reduce this type of crime by working with local communities on crime prevention projects and by disrupting criminal activity and putting suspected offenders before the courts.”
Chief Inspector Bullas appealed to the public to call police on 101 or Crimestop--pers on 0800 555 111.