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Paris police have deployed a team of officers to try and catch "class warriors" who have been vandalising bikes from the city's cycle rental scheme, officials said Monday.
Fifty of the sturdy Velib bicycles have had their back tyres slashed in recent days in various bike docks in two separate areas of the capital.
JC Decaux, the outdoor advertising firm that manages the hugely popular Velib scheme for the city hall, said it received a call last week from a man claiming responsibility for the attacks.
The caller reportedly said he was acting for a group that planned to vandalise rental bikes in all areas of the city that were not working class districts.
A Paris police spokesman said that "a large number of investigators" were working on the case and that police across the city had been ordered to closely watch the 1,700 Velib docks that house the 23,000 bikes in the scheme.
The bicycles have been prone to vandalism and theft since the 2007 launch of the scheme, with battered bikes showing up as far away as Morocco or used as teenage stunt bikes in YouTube videos.
© 2012 AFP
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