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.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.