Richmond MPS put Thief behind bars…

Burglars and bike thieves will always be looking to offload their loot on sites like Gumtree and eBay. We urge the public to take precautions when purchasing a cycle from social media sites. Always ask for proof of purchase and meet in a public place.

John Moss
By John Moss
December 4, 2013

A bike thief who tried to sell a stolen cycle on Gumtree has landed a 12 week prison sentence.

On Thursday 31st October Richmond police were alerted by the victim of a burglary that her bike was being sold on Gumtree. The bike, a £500 Specialized Ariel cycle was being advertised for £200 under the guise that the seller stated he was moving to Australia. Officers from the Richmond Burglary Team arranged to meet the seller purporting to be an interested party that same day at Asda in Roehampton.

Plain clothes officers attended the store and waited for the seller to turn up and after a brief struggle at the front of the store police arrested two suspects and recovered two stolen cycles. The Specialized cycle was returned to the rightful owner the same day much to her relief.

Nathan Crane of Battersea pleaded guilty at Wimbledon Magistrates Court the next day for Handling Stolen Goods and was sentenced to three months in prison.

Detective Sergeant Chris Brown from Richmond CID said:

We will pursue burglars and bike thieves wherever we can however, please help yourself not to become a victim of crime and always secure your cycle with a strong lock and where possible keep it hidden away out of sight.

But is that all

I managed to track down the advert this press release was referring to and a simple Google search of the phone number (07770226513) shows adverts for at least 4 other bikes in the past couple of months (other than the two he was found in possession of). It concerns me that these bikes weren’t mentioned by the police.

  • Eugene

    A good response from the police. Unfortunately, I suspect this might be the exception. I found my Stolen GT Zaskar LE on sale on Ebay and notified the Police in East London. I had previously reported the theft and gave them crime number and everything. They told me they would contact Ebay for details of seller but quite frankly never did anything.

    Never heard back from them and gave up after chasing them every day for a week.

    • Andrew Craig

      If you get a crap response like that from the police, make an official complaint — that wakes them up.

  • James

    I don’t quite get the police suggestion of “where possible keep it hidden away out of sight.” If they mean keep it inside your place they should’ve written that, but hide it in a place with public access only makes easier for the thief to steal it because he is hidden too!

    Better thing is to lock it with a good lock in a very visible place. The thief will not know if he is being watched. However, if you leave it there for many days in a row, they will reason that the owner is not around….

    Best advice is: invest money in a good D lock for the times you have to leave it out and whenever possible keep it inside if it is for longer periods (or overnight, maybe).