Man dressed in hi-viz gear linked to series of thefts and named as number one suspect in North East of England

British Transport Police have said that a man featured in a recent gallery of bike theft suspects is believed to be posing as a railway worker to enable him to steal bicycles from railway stations without arousing suspicion. They have made the man, who is believed to be responsible for a string of thefts in the North East of England, their number one target in the area.

The suspect wears an orange high-visibility vest or yellow jacket identical to those used by railway workers, but despite pictures being released to the railway industry and the media, police have so far been unable to track him down.

Chief Inspector Derek O’Mara of British Transport Police said: “We believe this man is operating throughout the Teesside, Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear areas and, so far, we have linked him to at least four separate incidents. We believe he has stolen cycles valued at nearly £2,000.

“We also believe he is dressing as a member of rail staff to avoid raising suspicion while he steals the cycles.

“The man has been caught on camera at Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hull and Selby. The images are excellent quality and we believe that someone somewhere must know who this man is.

“I would ask that anyone who has any information, however small, that may assist our investigation to please contact us. We believe he may have links to the Darlington area.

“We have a dedicated team of officers who are specifically focused on tackling this type of crime.

“We are undertaking plain clothes and high profile operations to catch thieves in the act.

“Thieves should also be aware that most cycle racks are covered by CCTV so it’s only a matter of time before we track them down.

“We are working closely with cycle and second hand shops in the area and are monitoring online sales sites to make it more difficult for thieves to sell on stolen property.”

Anyone with information regarding the man pictured is asked to call Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting background log NEA5 of 28 September 2012, or the charity, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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.