Truck driver gassed in €10m theft of Shimano bike parts

Czech bicycle manufacturer Bike Fun International has been hit by a major cargo theft, with criminals making off with around €10m-worth of Shimano parts at a rest stop in Germany.

The well-planned heist saw the driver of the tractor-trailer gassed to render him unconscious, before almost all the contents of the shipment was removed and a fire extinguisher was let off, presumably in an attempt to interfere with any crime scene evidence.

The parts were destined for the manufacturer of around 10,000 bikes – mainly electric versions – according to BFI, Czechia's largest bike producer. It said in a statement that the incident "was carried out by a well-organised group who, by all indications, must have planned the whole thing well."

The haul included brakes, rear derailleurs, Di2 batteries, various e-bike parts, hubs and displays, according to a report. The loss will delay the production of some of BFI's models – which include bikes under the Rock Machine, Superior and Frappe brands – by almost a year.

Shimano is a widely-used, premium brand of bike components that has become a target of criminals seeking to make a quick profit from illegal sales, including counterfeiters. Last year the Japanese company introduced anti-counterfeit packaging and QR codes on its labels to try to deter fakers.

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