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Romanian police recover high-performance bicycles stolen from Italian team

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By AP
Italy compete in the women's team pursuit race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championship in Roubaix.
Italy compete in the women's team pursuit race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championship in Roubaix.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Thibault Camus

Romanian police say they have recovered high-performance bicycles that were stolen from Italy's national cycling team.

The 22 bikes were worth an estimated €600,000, according to Romania's anti-crime agency

Four people have been detained on suspicion of theft, the authority added on Friday.

Authorities say that the bicycles went missing from a hotel in Lille on Saturday. The velodrome riders had been staying in France during the UCI World Track Championships held in the nearby city of Roubaix.

The stolen high-performance Pinarello bikes are reported to be worth around €30,000 each. Some were painted gold in honor of recent Olympic victories, and some had titanium 3D-printed handlebars.

Romanian police said in a statement that they found the bikes during a drugs raid on Thursday in the east of the country.

Electrical goods and cannabis were also seized in the raids, which targeted 14 homes of a suspected criminal network.

Police told a news conference that the suspects were trying to sell the stolen bikes, adding that they were only asking for around €1,500 each.

Colonel Paolo Cestra from the Italian Embassy in Bucharest has thanked Romania and said that the retrieved bikes have a “high economic value, but more importantly, they have a sentimental value.”