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Police on the trail of notorious motorcycle thieves in the West Country say they have made several arrests and have requested the removal of dozens of offensive Instagram posts boasting of the gang’s exploits.

Victims estimate the gang could have stolen upwards of £500,000 worth of motorcycles in and around Bristol during the past 12 months.

Now Avon and Somerset police have flagged dozens of posts shared by the “bristolbiketaker” Instagram account, which boasts of motorbike thefts across the city. The account is thought to be linked to thefts by a gang of at least 15 people.Bikes stolen by Bristol Bike Taker gang

Many theft victims have discovered it was the gang which stole their bike after seeing images of their machines on the Instagram page.

The page currently has 7,500 followers and includes the boast “we take anything and everything, everything’s legal around here”.

Photos and videos shared in more than 140 posts show the bikes purported to have been stolen.

Police said the crackdown on the gang is “very much an on-going operation”.

A spokesman said: “We are acutely aware of the frustration for motorbike owners and the wider public.

“We have made arrests as part of our actions and have also written to Instagram requesting the offensive posts are removed. We are still awaiting their response.

“We would also like to thank members of the public for the help, support and information they have provided to us as part of this operation.

“We would urge them to continue to be our eyes and ears and continue to report sightings and incidents so that positive action can be taken.”

The big concern within the biking community is that now the heat is on in Bristol, the bike bandits may move their operation further afield.

@bristolbiketaker Instagram page

It’s heartbreaking to discover your beloved motorcycle has been stolen and the theft being flaunted on social media simply rubs salt in the wounds.

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