Pinarello, the renowned Italian bikemaker, lost $273,000 of high-end bicycles in a double robbery on Thanksgiving, according to Italian news media.
As many American families spent the holiday feasting on turkey, a group of bike thieves broke into the Pinarello headquarters in Treviso, Italy. After leaving with many of the store’s most expensive bicycles, the robbers actually returned about 20 hours later for a second heist.
Wearing balaclavas and gloves to conceal themselves, the thieves stole 19 bicycles, La Tribuna di Treviso reported.
“The speed of action is impressive,” the newspaper said of the heist (auto-translated from Italian), suggesting a precise and well-planned operation by professional thieves.
The ‘Italian Job’
The first robbery took place at 3 a.m. Thursday, when the thieves cut the store’s perimeter fence and forced open the panic door of the workshop, tripping Pinarello’s “cutting-edge video surveillance system,” La Tribuna di Treviso wrote. The gang nabbed 12 bicycles, worth $164,000 total, in just 3 minutes. They knew exactly where to find the priciest bikes, suggesting a carefully planned robbery, the newspaper wrote.
Despite a police investigation during the day, the thieves actually returned to the scene of the crime at 11 p.m. Thursday night. The band of thieves entered the same way: another hole in the fence and breaking the same panic door, which had been repaired. They left with another seven bikes, worth about $110,000.
“The images from the Pinarello video surveillance system were acquired by investigators,” the newspaper said. “The trail is that of the Eastern European gang where the black market in stolen bicycles is thriving.”
It’s not the only time in recent memory that Pinarello’s high-end bikes have been the target of professional thieves. In 2021, four thieves pilfered 22 Pinarello bikes from the Italian national racing team, including a golden bike belonging to Filippo Ganna. Valued at nearly $700,000 altogether, the bikes were eventually found when Romanian police tracked down the thieves attempting to sell them for about 1,500 euros each, The Associated Press reported.
One of the largest bike heists of all time occurred in 2022 when thieves stole 10 million euros of Shimano components during a highway robbery in Germany.