British Transport Police has released a gallery of CCTV of images of suspects wanted in connection with bike thefts from railway stations throughout the East Midlands, Yorkshire and North East of England.
Despite the efforts of police to combat the thefts – more than 67 people have been arrested by the force in connection with bike theft during the past 12 months – for some, bicycles at railway stations are viewed as easy pickings, especially if not secured properly.
Chief Inspector Derek O’Mara of British Transport Police said: “Officers investigating each of these cases have followed multiple lines of enquiry and circulated these images on police intelligence systems to try and get names for these people, 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.
“Our intelligence shows that cycle thieves will travel to commit a crime, so please look at these photos carefully, although the theft may not have taken place at your local station, you may know the person who has committed it.
“There are a number of measures cyclists can take to reduce their chances of becoming a victim, lock your bike whenever you leave it, preferably with a D Lock, which is a heavy steel lock in a D or U shape. When you lock your cycle, try to fit the bike stand, the rim of one of the wheels and the cycle frame into the D, this will make it harder for thieves to take and there’ll also be less space in the D which will prevent thieves from inserting bars or jacks to lever the lock.
“Wherever possible leave your bike in a busy, well-lit area which is covered by CCTV and please also ensure that your cycle has been property marked and fitted with an electronic tracing system or tag to help locate it in the event of a theft.
“Make sure your cycle is insured, keep a photograph of it and note the frame number and any markings which will help police to identify any stolen bikes that are recovered.”
“Thieves should be aware that the majority of cycle racks are now monitored by CCTV and patrolled by plain clothed officers so the likelihood of getting caught is high.
“We will continue to work closely with Network Rail and the train operating companies to tackle cycle crime and passengers should report any suspicious behaviour to a member of staff or police.”
Anyone with information regarding any of the incidents listed is requested to contact British Transport Police on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting the location (and number if applicable) next to the image.
Beeston railway station, Saturday, 28 April 2012 - The victim secured his bikes at 13.30 and returns to find it stolen at 23.30. CCTV shows the bike being stolen at 16.10.
Bradford Forster Square railway station - Monday 25, June 2012 – The victim secured his bike at the cycle rack next to the booking office. When he was in town he noticed his bike being ridden by another man. When he checked the cycle racks, he noticed his bike had been stolen. The man has been described as Asian, aged 23-27, 5ft 7 with black short hair. He was wearing dark clothing and had an Arsenal football club drawstring bag on his back.
Burton Upon Trent
Burton Upon Trent railway station, Saturday, 11 August 2012 – The bike is secured at 12.30 by the victim. CCTV captures the bike being stolen at 13.30.
Darlington railway station – Monday, 19 Match 2012 - At 20.45 three bike tyres were stolen from bikes secured in the cycle sheds.
Doncaster 1 and 2
Doncaster railway station - Monday, 2 April 2012 - The victim secured their bike at the cycle rack in the middle of the car park at the station at 05.00. Upon their return at 16.42, the bike had been stolen. CCTV showed two men stealing the bike.
Halifax railway station – Sunday, 12 August 2012- At 19:07 the victim boarded a train at Rochdale and placed their bike in the bike storage section of the train. They checked it several times during the journey up until Halifax. At Halifax two men stole the bike and alighted the train with it. One of the males has been described as white, aged 24-26, slim build with short, shaved blonde hair. He was wearing a light coloured hooded jumper, dark tracksuit bottoms, white trainers and had a blue rucksack.
Harrogate 1, 2 and 3
Harrogate railway station – Friday 4 May 2012 – At 19:45 the victim secured their bike to the railings in the long stay car park at the station and upon their return at 22.00, the bike had been stolen.
Hull railway station – Friday, 4 May 2012 – A bike was stolen from the station at 22:00. A man is seen using bolt croppers to steal the bike from the bike racks. He has been described as white, approx 40-50 years old, of stocky build, He has a distinctive limp (right leg), and receding hair with bald patch at the back, He was wearing metal rimmed glasses.
Leeds (2 pictures)
Leeds railway station – Monday 3 September 2012 – A bike was stolen from the cycle racks at the station at12:03. CCTV captured a man then riding off out of the station down Aire Street The man has been described as white, of slim build, approx 20 years old, clean shaven with short brown hair. He was wearing a red/burgundy top (which he removed) over a blue Nike t-shirt, bright red gloves and blue Adidas trainers.
Leicester 1 and 2
Leicester railway station, Thursday, 7 June 2012 – The victim's bike is secured in the station car park bike rack. CCTV shows a man entering the station on a bike, he then steals the victim's bike and leaves the station on the bike. A female is then seen collecting the suspect's bike.
Leicester 3 and 4
Leicester railway station, Friday, 26 June 2012 – The victim secured the bike at 08.00. A man is seen on CCTV entering the station at 12.26, cutting the bike lock and stealing the bike.
Long Eaton railway station, Saturday, 14 April 2012 – Bike secured in the cycle racks next to the taxi rank. CCTV captured a man stealing and riding away on the bike at 16.10.
Long Eaton 1
Long Eaton railway station – Monday 20 August 2012 – The male victim secures his bike in the racks. A man is seen loitering and acting suspiciously for approximately 8 minutes. He is then seen to crouch down next the bike, before removing it and riding away.
Newcastle and Middlesbrough
Newcastle railway station – Friday, 10 August 2012 – At 08:55 the victim secured their bike in the cycle rack at the station and upon their return at 17:10 discovered the lock had been cut and the bike had been stolen. CCTV showed the biked being stolen at 09:30 and a man leaving the station with the bike via the main entrance and through the short stay car park and onto Neville Street. The bike is valued around £550.
Officers would also like to speak to this man in connection with cycle theft at Middlesbrough on 10 September 2012. Police believe he may have links to the Darlington area.
Retford railway station – Friday, 24 February - The victim secured their bike in the cycle racks at the station at 07.30, upon their return both the bike and the lock were missing.
Retford railway station – Monday, 19 March 2012 - At 07:13 the victim secured their bike in the racks at the station and at 12:15 a man is seen on CCTV to arrive at the station from the direction of Victoria Road. He is then seen a short time later walking away from the cycle rack with the victim’s bike before riding off towards Victoria Road.
Scunthorpe 1, 2 and 3
Scunthorpe railway station – Tuesday, 19 June 2012 - At 07:00 the victim secured their bike in the cycle rack at the station and upon their return at 18:15 the lock had been cut and the bike had been stolen.
Scunthorpe 4 and 5
Scunthorpe railway station - Monday, 16 April 2012 – The victim secured their bike in the cycle rack on platform 11 and upon their return the following day the bike had been stolen. CCTV shows the bike being stolen by two males at around midnight. One of the males also unplugs a vending machine at the station, then runs and jumps at the machine and shakes it but is unable to obtain any items.
Sheffield railway station – Saturday, 19 November 2012 - The victim secured their bike at the station at 05:15, upon their return at 15:55 they discovered their bike had been stolen. CCTV at 13:00 shows a man cutting the lock of the bike with bolt croppers before removing the bike and riding out of the car park.
Sheffield 2 and 3
Sheffield railway station - Wednesday, 25 April 2012 – At 08:10 the victim secured their bike to the cycle rack at the station and upon their return at 21.00, the bike had been stolen. CCTV shows two men stealing the bike.
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.