Three men fined £10,000 each following theft of 46 Brompton bicycles bound for Russia

Police were searching pawnbrokers in Leyton when van turned up containing 35 of the hot folders

by Simon_MacMichael   February 18, 2014  

Police Sergeant Titus Halliwell with George Aston and Nigel Saffery from Brompton

Three men have been fined £10,000 each and given suspended prison sentences for their part in the theft of 46 Brompton bicycles worth a total of around £58,000.

Gary Lewy, aged 46,. from Much Hadham in Hertfordshire and Thomas and Dean Cunningham, both from Epping, Essex, respectively aged 66 and 43, were each given 18 month prison sentences suspended for two years and ordered to pay £550 compensation and perform 100 hours of community service.

The folding bikes, which have a high resale value making them tempting targets for thieves, were being sent by Brompton to Russia in August last year, but only made it as far as Leyton in east London. It is unclear at which point in the supply chain they were stolen.

The Metropolitan Police's Cycle Task Force searched premises in Leyton in September, recovering two of the bicycles from the consignment, with their investigation leading officers to a pawnbrokers on Leyton High Road, where they discovered five more bikes, plus records showing that four others had been sold.

The shop was owned by Lewy, who was convicted of handling stolen goods and attempted handling stolen goods. While officers were there, Thomas Cunningham arrived with a van that contained 35 boxed Brompton bikes. Police searched his home and seized £5,900 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He was convicted on two counts of handling stolen goods, while Dean Cunningham was convicted of assisting in the retention of stolen goods.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor of the Metropolitan Police's Safer Transport Command, commented: "These bicycles were going to be sold in Lewy's London pawnbrokers, with unsuspecting buyers purchasing in good faith.

"I am particularly pleased that we have prevented anybody buying stolen property and that the offenders have been brought to justice."

Steve Burton, Transport for London's Director of Enforcement and On-Street Operations, added: “This is a great result for our Cycle Task Force.

"Tackling cycle theft is an important step for us at TfL in achieving the Mayor’s ambition to get more people cycling and we alongside our policing partners are committed to improving cycle security in the capital and bringing prolific cycle thieves to justice.

"Criminals may think that this is a low risk crime, but sentences like this send a clear message that it is not – if you chose to steal bikes, you could end up in jail."

16 user comments

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Chapeau police.

posted by Pointbroken [8 posts]
18th February 2014 - 10:44

7 Likes

Sultan Taylor??? Is that a real name?

posted by Scoob_84 [202 posts]
18th February 2014 - 10:53

6 Likes

Scoob_84 wrote:
Sultan Taylor??? Is that a real name?

Yeah and the only reason I remember is something to do with a historic rape charge and it had some dodgy headline years ago.

Anyway. Nice work by the police for a change, it is a shame they cannot put this much effort into investigating accidents

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8859 posts]
18th February 2014 - 10:58

5 Likes

Another piffling sentence. I hope the police or CPS went through every item in their houses and demanded to see receipts for all of them. Plus compared their standards of living against their declared incomes. And when the scumbags failed miserably on both counts, all their possessions should have been seized under the proceeds of crime act.

posted by racyrich [128 posts]
18th February 2014 - 11:05

6 Likes

WTF! they didn't go to jail and were fined £10k after stealing £58k of goods (nearly £15k of which is still missing!) . It sounds like they've come out of this having lost nothing! Clearly crime has a good chance of paying!

andybwhite's picture

posted by andybwhite [192 posts]
18th February 2014 - 11:24

7 Likes

How many bikes will they need to steal to pay those fines?
But it is worth remembering that the reason people steal bikes is because (presumably) there are any number of cyclists who are happy to purchase goods no questions asked.
'Caveat emptor, mon cheri!' as Del Boy is unlikely to have ever said Surprise
Applause for the investigating officers Applause

posted by SideBurn [806 posts]
18th February 2014 - 11:30

2 Likes

wow... nice to see the police not being useless for a change, although having 35 stolen bikes arrive when you're searching the place must've helped!

Hope Brompton are allowed to have their bikes back.

posted by nod [61 posts]
18th February 2014 - 11:38

4 Likes

andybwhite wrote:
WTF! they didn't go to jail and were fined £10k after stealing £58k of goods (nearly £15k of which is still missing!) . It sounds like they've come out of this having lost nothing! Clearly crime has a good chance of paying!

They were fined £10k EACH....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8859 posts]
18th February 2014 - 11:39

2 Likes

The fine isn't for stealing the goods, only for handling them. It's unclear how these people got hold of the bikes, and without evidence they can't be charged for theft.

posted by Nick T [814 posts]
18th February 2014 - 11:53

2 Likes

Nick T wrote:
The fine isn't for stealing the goods, only for handling them. It's unclear how these people got hold of the bikes, and without evidence they can't be charged for theft.

They've been found guilty of handling. They're just keeping schtum about who did the stealing, and as such they should take the full rap.
Hang the bsatrads!

andybwhite's picture

posted by andybwhite [192 posts]
18th February 2014 - 13:00

1 Like

Gkam84 wrote:
andybwhite wrote:
WTF! they didn't go to jail and were fined £10k after stealing £58k of goods (nearly £15k of which is still missing!) . It sounds like they've come out of this having lost nothing! Clearly crime has a good chance of paying!

They were fined £10k EACH....

And you think any of it will actually be paid? Might as well have done nothing.

posted by northstar [1105 posts]
18th February 2014 - 13:11

2 Likes

So, I hear that Leyton is the place to go if you need a cheap bike...?

(Kidding. Put the Internet pitchforks away).

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [861 posts]
18th February 2014 - 13:25

0 Likes

Gizmo_ wrote:
So, I hear that Leyton is the place to go if you need a cheap bike...?

(Kidding. Put the Internet pitchforks away).

.. yes but it does beg the question about where these Pawn Broker type shops - generally in the most run down areas of town - actually get their stock from

A concerted effort from the Police, of checking goods in these places, and following up items for sale on Gumtree/ Facebook etc where they didn't look quite right..it would certainly reduce the number of thefts if the goods were harder to sell

posted by RedfishUK [54 posts]
18th February 2014 - 14:11

2 Likes

having grown up in Leyton (although i've not lived there for close to 10 years) i don't know how much demand there would be for bromptons, its far enough out that to cycle into the city or west end is a decent distance, but not worth getting a train part of the way. IIRC, its about 10 miles to westminster and about 8 to the city (give or take) so a good distance to ride decent enough that you'd probably want a 'normal' bike not a folding brompton. But this may all fogged by the mists of time
I wonder if there was another end destination that they wanted to send them on ot - or if they were going to be online sales or something.

posted by md6 [156 posts]
18th February 2014 - 16:52

5 Likes

And you think any of it will actually be paid? Might as well have done nothing.

The usual court tactic is to link the fine to the suspended prison sentence. No pay fine ..... off to jail you go.

Mike

mike the bike's picture

posted by mike the bike [132 posts]
18th February 2014 - 18:59

0 Likes

8 to 10 miles ride through town to work - I'd use a Brompton for that rather than a "normal" bike ..... but, yes, the average pawn broker in Leyton might find it slow going selling that many Bromptons locally ... Bad luck that the police were there when the guy rocked up with the vanload of nicked bikes though .... Rolling On The Floor

posted by simon.thornton [15 posts]
19th February 2014 - 23:56

0 Likes