British Transport Police (BTP) has released a ‘Top 10 Gallery’ in connection with bike crime at railway stations in Sussex. In all, 13 people are shown in the images released, with some incidents involving two or more suspects.
The thefts in question all took place in November or December last year at Bexhill, Bognor Regis, Eastbourne, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Lewes, Shoreham and Worthing.
BTP regularly carries out appeals of this type in various parts of the country, and a spokesman told road.cc that such images, which are selected because they give a clear view of the suspect, have proved to be valuable in the past in helping clear up unsolved cases.
Of the ten images shown below, perhaps the most startling is the third one, which shows a passenger dressed for cycling who has just got off a train apparently carrying someone else’s folding bike, which looks like a Brompton. That jacket is an Altura Night Vision Evo, by the way.
Whether he boarded the train specifically with the intention of stealing a bike, or whether it was an opportunistic theft, is clearly impossible to say, but it does highlight the importance of securing your bike, however safe you think it may be.
Inspector Gary Ancell of BTP said: “To try and get names for these men and women we’ve followed multiple avenues of enquiry and circulated pictures to local neighbourhood policing teams, but to no avail so far.
“We’re now asking for help from members of the public to identify them. If you know any of these people and can tell us who they are, we want to hear from you.
“Unfortunately cycles are a popular target for thieves but there are several steps people can take to ensure their bikes are adequately marked and secured to help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of bike theft,” he added.
“The best thing to remember is to register your bike and also to ensure a solid lock is used to secure it. If a bike is adequately marked, it makes it much easier to identify and therefore reduces its desirability to thieves.”
Anyone with information about the incidents in the pictures or who recognises those depicted is asked to contact BTP on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference B12/LSA of 23/01/12, quoting the image number.
The pictures are shown below, together with a brief description of the circumstances of each incident from BTP.
Image 1 - Eastbourne
The man in image 1 is suspected of taking a cycle from Eastbourne rail station around 2.10pm on Friday, 9 December 2011. After taking the cycle, he loads it onto the back of his car before driving away.
Image 2 – West Worthing
Image 2 shows a man suspected of taking a cycle from the racks on platform 2 at West Worthing around 4.20pm on Thursday, 24 November 2011.
Image 3 – Haywards Heath
The man in image 3, dressed in full cycling gear, is suspected of taking another man’s folded cycle from the luggage racks on a Victoria to Hove service around 6.20pm on Friday, 9 December 2011. The man took the bike from the rack before leaving the train at Hayward’s Heath.
Images 4 and 5 – Bexhill
Images 4 and 5 show a man and woman officers want to speak to after an attempted cycle theft at Bexhill rail station around 7.40pm on Sunday, 4 December 2011.
The victim, a 17-year-old boy from Bexhill, had left his cycle secured to the racks in the car park, to the right of the station entrance.
Upon returning to the station later on he discovered that the bike’s chain and gears had been damaged, police believe possibly in an attempt to steal it.
Image 6 – Shoreham-by-Sea
This man, pictured in image 6, is suspected of stealing a cycle from Littlehampton rail station around 2.20pm on Friday, 16 December 2011.
Image 7 - Horsham
Officers want to speak to the three men (A, B and C) in image 7 after a cycle wheel and a separate cycle were stolen from Horsham rail station around 6.20pm on Friday, 16 December 2011.
Image 8 – Lewes
Can you identify the man pictured in image 8? Police want to speak to him after a cycle was taken from Lewes rail station around 4.15pm on Wednesday, 21 December 2011.
Image 9 – Bognor Regis
Officers want to identify the man in image 9 after a cycle was stolen from Bognor Regis station around 12.55pm on Thursday, 8 December 2011.
Image 10 - Worthing
The man and woman, pictured in image 10, are suspected of working together to steal a cycle from Worthing rail station around 9.35pm on Friday, 30 December 2011.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.