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Jez Vine Retribution – jail for person who tried to sell bike nicked from NHS worker neighbour of TV and radio host

Crime victim had spotted her bike for sale on Gumtree – but Met only intervened after Channel 5 presenter’s tweet got top cop involved

A man who tried to sell an NHS worker’s bike on Gumtree has been jailed for 32 weeks and fined £200 after the theft victim’s neighbour, the broadcaster Jeremy Vine, posted a video to Twitter about how the Metropolitan Police were unable to help reunite the owner with the bike because her own investigative work had been so thorough that it might be considered as entrapment.

The video went viral on social media last week, and was quickly brought to the attention of Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, the Metropolitan Police Service’s Vision Zero lead on road safety, who promised to have a look at it.

Met officers had initially told the bike’s owner, a mental health nurse named Joey, that they would be unable to proceed with investigating the theft because the amateur detective work that she and her partner had done in tracking down the person trying to sell it on the online marketplace would prejudice the case.

Joey had also flagged her stolen bike to Gumtree, without success – not the first time that the website has been accused of helping facilitate people trying to sell stolen bikes.

> Gumtree accused of failing to act on stolen cycle sales

Happily, Det Supt Cox was having none of that and promised to look at the case personally – the result being, as he said in a tweet today, that a “suspect has been convicted after pleading guilty.”

The police officer added the person had been sentenced to 32 weeks in jail for theft (with a prior suspended sentence triggered by the latest conviction) and had been ordered to pay compensation of £200.

Clearly, in this case, the fact that the victim had a neighbour with enough clout on social media to highlight the initial inaction of the investigating officers, and get it brought to Det Supt Cox’s attention helped.

But credit should not just go to Vine for raising attention to Joey’s plight, but also to the senior police officer who, after being made aware of the absurdity of the initial decision not to proceed with the case, made sure that it progressed and the perpetrator was brought to justice.

If only all bike thefts were investigated so thoroughly ...

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.

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8 comments

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Projectcyclingf... | 3 years ago
0 likes

Typical COWBOY COPS having callous attitudes and neglecting their jobs, does a lot of harm to victims and emboldening crooks and thugs and dangerous drivers even further, in a never ending cycle - no one should have to apeal to these cops to their jobs they are well paid for.with many benifits.

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cycle.london | 3 years ago
3 likes

I  bet you he wishes that he'd run the cyclist over in his car.  That £60 fine and suspended sentence would have been nicer to deal with.

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Rick_Rude | 3 years ago
0 likes

Scumtree.

I hate selling on there as most people trying to buy think that less than half your asking price is reasonable and then insult you when you don't sell. Most of the rest then never turn up to buy.

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to Rick_Rude | 3 years ago
4 likes

Hey, it cuts both ways.  The one-and-only time I tried to buy something on there, I turned up to pay for, and take, the item, at the agreed time, and they weren't there to sell it to me!

Anyway, not sure why in this case they (gumtree) couldn't be charged with colluding with the sale of stolen goods.  Having been told the facts, they still were happy to take their cut of the sale price - how is that legal?

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ktache | 3 years ago
0 likes

Did she manage to get the bike back?

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Hirsute replied to ktache | 3 years ago
4 likes

She was advised that would amount to handling stolen goods and the police would have to arrest her.

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eburtthebike replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago
4 likes

hirsute wrote:

She was advised that would amount to handling stolen goods and the police would have to arrest her.

Don't be silly; she'd already been arrested for entrapment.

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Jetmans Dad replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
3 likes

How does that even work. You spot your already stolen property for sale, find out who is selling it and report to the police. 

On what planet does that qualify as entrapment? Well, planet police obviously, but ... what?

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