Man jailed after admitting 30-plus bike thefts in Sussex

John James Smith used bolt-cutters to steal bikes from railway stations and colleges

A man who admitted stealing 34 bikes worth more than £21,000 in Brighton and Hove and nearby towns has been jailed for 30 months at Lewes Crown Court.

Sussex Police say that John James Smith, aged 32 and of no fixed address, used bolt-cutters to steal bicycles from bike racks at railway stations and educational establishments over the course of a year.

In March this year, he was handed a criminal behaviour order but was caught stealing a bike just three days later.

Smith pleaded guilty to the bike thefts as well as to possession of cannabis and breaching an earlier suspended sentence for stealing a bike.

Sentencing Smith on Friday, Judge Christine Laing QC described his offending as "deliberate, flagrant and repeated."

She continued: "I'm dealing with over 40 offences. You stole bikes that were very important to the people who owned them, either to get them to work or to college –  causing everyone involved stress as well as financial loss."

The court heard that Smith used bolt cutters to steal bikes from BHASVIC college in Dyke Road as well as Brighton, Preston Park and Eastbourne railway stations between June 2017 to and July this year.

PC Andrew Newman of Sussex Police commented: "This was a series of impactive crimes that effected many people.

“Smith stole bikes that were very important to the people who owned them and they were their form of transport of get them to work or to college.

“His actions caused his victims stress and financial loss.

"However, this result a clear message that bike theft can result in a substantial prison sentence," he continued.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.