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.