Police in Skelmersdale and Ormskirk are urging internet sellers to be vigilant after several motorbikes were stolen as part of online sales.
Officers have become concerned following several thefts in the past month where victims have reported arranging to sell off-road motorbikes through online auction and advertising websites.
When the vendor has met with the alleged buyer, the motorbikes have been stolen by two offenders without making payment.
The first theft was reported to police around 10.40am on May 25.
A 25-year-old man from Plymouth arranged to sell an orange KTM SXF bike (pictured). He met with two men in West Park Drive, Skelmersdale, one of who has asked for a test drive.
The first offender has then made off on the bike, before the second man drove off in a white Vauxhall Astra.
The first offender is described as white, of medium build, with short curly ginger hair. He was wearing an orange high visibility waterproof jacket and black tracksuit bottoms.
The second man is white, of slim build, with short light brown hair. He was wearing a grey tracksuit and black Nike trainers. Both men had Liverpool accents.
On June 1 a second theft took place in Pinfold Road, Ormskirk, around 7.50pm.
A 24-year-old man from Worksop has arranged to sell a blue and white Yamaha and met two males. The first man asked for a test ride, but instead of returning with the vehicle rode off at high speed. The second man then drove off in a Vauxhall Astra.
The first offender is described as white, in his mid-20s, of stocky build, with light brown hair and a Liverpool accent. He was wearing a high visibility tabard, dark coloured tracksuit bottoms and blue and black Nike trainers.
The second offender is described as white, in his late-20s, of stocky build, with light brown hair and a Liverpool accent. He was wearing a high visibility tabard, dark coloured tracksuit bottoms and white and green Nike trainers.
On June 9, a third theft took place in Aughton Park Drive, Aughton.
Around 9.20am a 47-year-old man from Manchester has arranged to sell a white Yamaha. He met two men, one who asked for a test drive.
The victim agreed, as long as he was left with the offender’s car keys. The first offender has then rode off on the bike, before the second man elbowed the 47-year-old man to the floor to take the car keys back. The second man has then driver off in a white Vauxhall Astra.
Both offenders are described as white, of medium build, aged in their mid-20s with Liverpool accents.
PC Louise Rigby, of Skelmersdale Police, said: “We are warning people to vigilant following several thefts of off-road motorbikes advertised for sale online.
“The owner of the motorcycle on each occasion has placed their mobile number on the advertisement and been contacted by men wishing to purchase the vehicle.
“The men involved are not leaving any details but are arranging the sale through mobile phone conversations with the seller.
“Arrangements are being made for the vendor to deliver the motorcycle and they will pay on delivery. When the seller meets them at the agreed place they are making off with the motorcycle without making payment and on one occasion even used force to do so.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting crime reference SB1602083 for the first incident, SB1602213 for the second theft and SB1602351 for the third robbery.
Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
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