A HAUL of more than 100 stolen bikes has been uncovered in Hampshire.

Police revealed the discovery following a crackdown against bike theft in the New Forest.

The hoard was found in a polythene covered tunnel outside Lymington.

Since September at least 50 bikes have been reported as stolen across the Lymington, Brockenhurst and New Milton areas worth at least £15,000.

The number of thefts has been running at around twice the level of the same time last year.

The cycles have been taken from all sorts of locations including people’s drives, apartment storage areas and locked public cycle racks.

Local officers along with colleagues from British Transport Police have been investigating the thefts and have recently made five arrests in connection with the thefts.

They also made the discovery of the hoard of bikes in a Polytunnel near Pennington.

They are now in the process of contacting all victims of cycle theft in the area since April this year offering them the opportunity to view the bikes seized and see if one belongs to them.

PC Ian Cross from the Lymington Safer Neighbourhood Team said: "If anyone in the area has been the victim of a theft and not reported this to the police we urge them to contact us, even if your bike was low in value or your insurance company have paid out already your evidence could be the vital."

“It is notable that almost every single cycle stolen in this series of thefts was secured using a chain or cable lock.

"These will stop the opportunist thief but a good quality D-Lock secured around the frame is by far the best deterrent to a determined criminal.

Of the five arrested three men aged, 20, 23 and 52 from the New Forest area have been released on police bail while enquires continue until early January.

A 14-year-old has been given a caution in relation to the theft of a single cycle and an 18-year-old man has been reported for summons in connection with the theft of a single bike.

Anyone who has had their bike stolen in the area and would like to view the bikes or has any information about the thefts is asked to contact PC Ian Cross at Lymington Police Station on 101.