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Jail for York thief who broke into secure bike storage areas in new development

Lewis Joshua Oakland stole bikes worth £5,300 from basements of two blocks at Hungate development

A man who broke into secure cycle storage areas in a new housing development in York and stole bicycles worth thousands of pounds has been jailed for two years.

Cycle storage facilities in the basements of two separate blocks within the city-centre Hungate development were targeted by 23-year-old Lewis Joshua Oakland, reports York Press.

Oakland, of Tang Hall, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary at York Crown Court. At the time of the offences, he was on licence from a six-month jail term for previous offences.

Michael Greenhalgh, prosecuting, said that Oakland had broken door panels and wire mesh cages to get into the secure bike stores, which were located in the basement car parks of each block.

The two burglaries, committed last September, saw him steal four bikes worth a combined total of £5,300. None has been recovered.

In mitigation, Glenn Parsons said that Oakland had been homeless at the time of the offences.

He said that while his client did not know how much the bicycles were worth, he was aware that they had some resale value.

Sentencing Oakland to two years’ imprisonment, Judge Simon Hickey told him: “I take the view this type of offence is serious.

“The premises must have been deliberately targeted with a significant degree of planning. You must have carried something to commit the damage.”

The judge also highlighted that with cycling being a popular way of getting around the city for its inhabitants, the thefts would have caused great inconvenience to the owners of the bikes.

Situated on the River Foss on the northern edge of York's city centre, the Hungate development, in common with similar housing schemes being built elsewhere in the country, highlights the availability of secure cycle parking to prospective homeowners in its marketing materials.

York City Council recently announced plans to ban private cars from the city centre by 2023 in a bid to tackle air pollution and congestion as well as encouraging people to switch to public transport and cycling to get around.

> ‘Public mood is changing’ says councillor as York unveils plans to ban private cars from city centre

Simon has been news editor at 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.

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