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P600 million worth of Shimano bike parts stolen in brazen highway heist

By Bim Santos Published Feb 09, 2022 8:06 pm Updated Feb 09, 2022 10:11 pm

Bike parts equivalent to 10,000 bicycles were reportedly stolen in a targeted heist from the industry’s largest manufacturer in the Czech Republic, further setting back an already challenged global supply chain that has been riddled with shortages and delays.

According to a report from the Czech News Agency CTK, the robbery took place at a highway rest stop last Jan. 21 by a well-organized group that has been tailing the truck since it was loaded with bike parts from a Shimano distribution center for the company Bike Fun International (BFI). 

During the stop, the perpetrators reportedly rendered the truck driver unconscious by gassing him as they took off with their loot, only leaving behind nine boxes of low-end bike components. Some reports also stated that the group used fire suppresants to cover their tracks.

The total estimated cost for the stolen parts is 250 million Czech crowns or about P600 million.

BFI supply chain director Petr Krkoška was quoted in the CTK report as saying that the crime could further complicate the global supply chain in the bicycle industry, which has been already reeling from a high-demand low-supply situation for quite some time. 

"The situation of bicycle manufacturers around the world is really complicated. On the one hand, we are dealing with huge demand, but on the other hand with an even greater shortage of components, caused by many factors," Krkoška said.

Due to the robbery, Krkoška said production of some models will be delayed by almost a year.

"Even Shimano has not encountered a targeted shipment to a similar extent. We hope that due to the lack of parts, these cases will not be repeated, because despite all the measures we have set up, no insurance coverage will compensate us for the loss and especially the reputation for late deliveries, "Krkoška added.

BFI supplies components to brands such as Superior, Rock Machine, Frappe Cycles and some other European brands.