Images released of suspected’ Boulie tacker ‘, who sabotages Melbourne cycle route

Police announce breakthrough in investigation, releasing footage allegedly demonstrating the man and his automobile, a 2015 Volkswagen Golf, on Yarra Boulevard

Police have released footage of a human believed to be responsible for putting tacks on Melbourne cycling ways and causing years of punctures.

For more than two years, metal tacks have been a regular feature on Yarra Boulevard in Kew, a popular cycling road known as the Boulie. They are one centimetre long, deadly to bicycle tyres and scattered along the length of the 13 km tack, inspiring a number of campaigns by cyclists to raise awareness of the problem and root out the culprit.

It also spawned a grassroots detective movement that monitored anti-cycling commentaries on news stories and social media for clues to the tackers identity.

lee arnold (@ jedlea) February 15, 2016

Thanks #boulietacker. Flat front tyre at 30 kph on my commute home. Could be deadly. Please, #noboulietacks

Victoria Police have been investigating the matter since January last year, and on Thursday announced a breakthrough.

They released a series of stills from CCTV footage allegedly depicting the Boulie tacker and his vehicle, a 2015 Volkswagen Golf.

Police
Police believe this car, a 2015 Volkswagen Golf, was being driven by the person who has been putting tacks on a popular Melbourne cycling road known as the Boulie. Photograph: Victoria Police

In a statement police said sleuths from the Boroondara crime investigation unit had analyse reports that a human drove the length of the Yarra Boulevard several times on 1 December 2015, passing by a puncture repair station.

Anna Wilkinson (@ AnnaLWil) January 22, 2016

Happy fri to you too #boulietacker. Time for a reward @VictoriaPolice #rolloveron #boulietacker#$ forbouliepeace pic.twitter.com /8 2truELY3s

Just after 5.31 am the man stopped at the puncture repair station and got out of the vehicle. He then tore the fencing off the post and removed the motorcycle pump and plastic boxes, police media policeman Natalie Webster said.

Webster described the man as white and in his mid 30 s, perhaps with a dark beard. He was also shoeless, despite apparent proximity to so much pointy metal.

Police believe he may live locally as he was dressed in only a white singlet, shorts and no shoes, Webster said.

Anyone who recognises that person has been asked to contact police.

Three puncture repair stations were installed along the road by the City of Boroondara in 2014, in response to the frequent tackings.

The tacks in question are about 10 to 12 mm long and similar to those used in a Paslode upholstery gun. They have most often been received between the Studley Park Road overpass and the Chandler Highway exit.

They have caused hundreds of bike punctures, of which up to 800 have been reported to police. Webster said some punctures had caused accidents in which cyclists were seriously injured.

Miles Standish (@ mileshstandish) January 11, 2016

Another tack puncture on the Kew Boulevarde. Of course, just as the rainfall arrived. Fuck you, Boulie Tacker! #noboulietacks

Police set the cost to cyclists at $5,000, but Bicycle Network Victoria told Guardian Australia that the cost in the first 12 months alone, for bike repair, cleaning up the tacks and installing security cameras on bikes parked along the way at night, exceeded $70,000.

Cyclists utilizing the track have been asked to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to police.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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