POLICE are desperate to reunite scores of stolen bikes with their original owners.

There are almost 40 bikes collecting dust in a storage room at Darlington police station, many of which will be destroyed or sent to auction if their rightful owners don't come forward.

PC John Forster said that the majority of bikes were seized from youths across the town in the past four months.

"We stop kids that we know are up to something and question them about the bikes they are riding," he said.

"If they come back with unsatisfactory answers, then we take the bike from them.

"We ask them to come to the station with proof that it belongs to them to be able to claim it back, but they rarely do.

"These bikes change hands two or three times and we want to get them back to their real owners."

Anyone who has had a bike stolen in the past four months which they want to reclaim is asked to leave their contact details and a description of the bike in an envelope marked for the attention of PC Forster at the station on St Cuthbert's Way.

PC Forster has also advised any bike owner to keep a receipt of purchase or a photograph and details of it in a safe place.