The bikes that have been returned to Belgium were stolen in Waremme (Liège Province) Eghezée (Namur Province), Haacht (Flemish Brabant) and Kaprijke and Wetteren (both East Flanders). The cycles will now be returned to their rightful owners.
The investigation into the bicycle thefts was started in the summer of last year. After a first theft from a bicycle shop in Kampenhout (Flemish Brabant) there were further thefts from cycle retailers in Beernem (West Flanders), Wetteren, Eghezée, Waremme, Diest (Flemish Brabant), Lebbeke, Geraardsbergen (both East Flanders) and Florennes (Namur Province).
On 22 December a number of bikes were recovered that had been stolen from Florennes. The thieves had packed the bikes up and had loaded them into the luggage trailer of a coach that brought them to Romania. The suspects were detained on 16 January.
Belgian detectives went to Romania in April and worked with their Romanian colleagues to find the person that was buying the stolen bikes. They were able to arrest a bicycle store owner from Piatra Neamt in the north of the country. Police found bicycles in his shop that had been stolen in Belgium, Germany and Italy.