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Second man fined for handling stolen goods – both were being watched by police targeting cycle thieves

A 24-year-old South London man has received a 12-week prison sentence after he and an accomplice were caught in the act of stealing a bicycle in Balham.

Four weeks of the sentence imposed by Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on John Holloway of Long Lane, Southwark relate to that theft.

A further eight weeks were added due to his re-offending while under a suspended sentence for a separate incident of cycle theft.

The Metropolitan Police say that another man, 21-year-old Thomas O’Connor, of Swan Road, Rotherhithe, received a fine for handling stolen goods.

Riding a Raleigh Urban 700 bike, he had acted as lookout on Wednesday 24 April while Holloway stole a bike in Balham.

Unfortunately for the thieves, all the while they were being watched by officers of the Metropolitan Police’s Cycle Task Force and Wandsworth Safer Transport Team, conducting an operation as part of part of Project Cycle Ops, which aims to fight bike theft in London.

The bike that O’Connor was riding turned out to have been stolen from outside a residential address in Balham that very morning.

Police were able to trace the lawful owner because he had logged his details, including the frame number, with BikeRegister. When contacted, he had just returned home to discover his bike missing.

Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor from the Metropolitan Police’s Safer Transport Command commented: "Had the stolen Raleigh not been security marked and registered, officers would not have been able to identify an owner.

“We encourage all cyclists to register details of their bike on the MPS preferred cycle online registration service - www.bikeregister.com for this reason.

"We are determined to bring cycle thieves to justice and are working closely with BTP, City of London Police and Transport for London to reduce cycle theft across London," he added.

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.

9 comments

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 2 years ago
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Only 12 weeks ???? 12 years it should be, a nd cut his f***ing legs off!!

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matthewn5 [760 posts] 2 years ago
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He'd get longer if he'd stolen cars, I bet.

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Ham-planet [112 posts] 2 years ago
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Relatively lax sentencing aside, the congratulations to the police for catching the crooks and swiftly re-uniting bike and owner.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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Only "a fine for handling stolen goods"?

This is a problem. While I congratulate the police, the fact is that this second criminal provided a market - and therefore the incentive - for the theft. If we prosecuted that properly, maybe people would think twice before buying bikes in "too good to be true " deals.

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simeond [20 posts] 2 years ago
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In New York they went after the people buying stolen Apple products as they were the ones who fueled the crimes.

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zanf [829 posts] 2 years ago
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simeond wrote:

In New York they went after the people buying stolen Apple products as they were the ones who fueled the crimes.

If there were the manpower to do this, they should nick those who buy bikes at Brick Lane where they can prove they were stolen. Put the shits right up people about buying from there and kill the demand.

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ScotchPoth (not verified) [368 posts] 2 years ago
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3 to 6 months is appropriate,when you consider the scum in the city of London embezzling billions and plunging the country into economic and social chaos and not facing any sort of judicial process these are quite heavy sentences for what are essentially petty offences in the scheme of things

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TeamCC [146 posts] 2 years ago
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Need more sting operations and publicise them more. Get them on youtube and they have loads of views.

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qwerky [184 posts] 2 years ago
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Chapeau to the police, hope they do more of this.