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Organised crime gang sentenced for prolific thefts of more than £100,000 worth of bikes

City of London Police says the number of reported bike thefts in the area dropped from 68 in the month of August 2020 to just seven in January 2021 following the arrests

Four members of an organised crime gang believed to be responsible for a major proportion of reported bike thefts in the City of London have been sentenced, with two men jailed for more than two years.

Seven members of the gang have already been sentenced to prison or received suspended sentences for their role in the operation which saw more than £100,000 worth of bikes stolen over a two-year period.

City of London Police, the force which oversees the part of the city referred to as the Square Mile and comprises London's financial district, said it had seen a "significant reduction" in reported bike thefts since their arrest, with reported bicycle thefts falling from 68 per month at the height of the gang's spree in August 2020 to seven in January 2021.

That number stabilised at around 19 bike thefts per month in 2023, a level the police force says is considerably lower than when the gang was in operation.

> New figures reveal two bike-jackings a day now taking place in London

KentOnline reports Suleyman Akram, 30, was sentenced to two years and six months for handling stolen goods, while Louey Baldwin from Orpington in Kent was sentenced to two years and nine months.

Ryan Boxcer was given a two-year suspended sentence, and Gavin McKie from Dartford was given a 10-month suspended sentence on Friday as the four men appeared at Inner London Crown Court.

Police officers recovered 57 bikes and parts from others at a site which was being used to store and dispose of stolen bikes, detectives eventually arresting the gang after a stolen bike was tracked to a warehouse in east London.

Upon looking at CCTV footage the police saw thieves entering the warehouse on a daily basis, with other suspects seen dismantling bikes and another seen holding an angle grinder. It is estimated the bikes stolen totalled a value in excess of £100,000, police so far able to return more than 20 of the bikes to their owners. 21 more bikes were found at the house of Akram following his arrest.

> "So many people are put off cycling by the threat of having their bike stolen": Bike theft victims call for more secure cycle hangars as demand soars

Matt Cooper, a detective constable in the Serious Organised Crime Team at City of London Police, commented: "City of London Police has been working tirelessly to catch and bring bike thieves and their handlers to justice, employing technology and innovative techniques to limit their opportunities to commit more criminal activities.

"The sentencing shows our dedication and work to achieve this outcome. This group stole thousands of pounds worth of bikes, and since their arrests we have had a significant reduction in offences reported as a result of the disruption to the handling mechanism in place for thieves targeting the City offences."

2024 began with the Liberal Democrats declaring that bike theft had been "decriminalised" as statistics showed that 89 per cent of reported cases go unsolved.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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9 comments

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essexian | 2 weeks ago
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Not really bothered about the value of the bikes stolen. No, I am more insterested in whether they still have the pikes available at the Tower of London in order to stick their heads on. 

Well.... they were given a suspended sentence. 

 

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Jimmy Ray Will | 2 weeks ago
1 like

Either this gang were deliberately stealing the crappiest bikes they could find, or the estimated value of their 'work' has been grossly underestimated.

Why do our forces downplay the scale and impact of bike theft so much?

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ROOTminus1 replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 2 weeks ago
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It looks like the gang were stealing anything and everything. If the photo is relevant and not a stock image, there's a lot of BSOs but also some e-bikes, and a Diamondback trials bike in there. I expect the police saw what the majority was and valued the lot based on that, ignoring the bikes that are worth considerably more than their scrap value.

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Rendel Harris replied to Jimmy Ray Will | 2 weeks ago
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Certainly seems a low number if the police were using the market value rather than the resale value, if as the report states the gang were operating for two years with a maximum number of thefts of 68 in a month we can probably assume an average of about 50 thefts per month. That's 1200 bikes at £83 each, not many new bikes available at that price and even at secondhand prices they would have to be spectacularly tatty.

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OnYerBike replied to Rendel Harris | 2 weeks ago
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It's a bit unclear what the "£100,000" refers to. If it solely refers to the 57 bikes recovered at the warehouse, then that's an average of ~£1,750 per bike. 

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Rendel Harris replied to OnYerBike | 2 weeks ago
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OnYerBike wrote:

It's a bit unclear what the "£100,000" refers to. If it solely refers to the 57 bikes recovered at the warehouse, then that's an average of ~£1,750 per bike. 

It says they stole £100,000 worth "over a two year period"; with 68 thefts a month at the height of their activities it must refer to more than just the bikes recovered. Also, even in a rich area like the City you'd be lucky to find that many £1500 plus bikes, people who use that type of bike for commuting generally only do so if they have secure storage for them.

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qwerty360 replied to OnYerBike | 2 weeks ago
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It merely states in excess of £100k.

 

I suspect there are thresholds on more serious penalties etc.

So plausibly the police don't really care what it is worth - They care that the value is above threshold A and below threshold B.

Wouldn't surprise me if thresholds are £100k, then £1m...

 

Add in of course that police valuations are current, used value, not replacement costs etc (fairly sure I would spend 2-3x my bikes practical resale value to replace it...).

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OnYerBike replied to qwerty360 | 2 weeks ago
1 like

I've found a press release on the City of London Police's website and that states "The City of London Police recovered 57 bikes, with a value of £100,000, as well as bike parts at Express Plant Hire". 

However, it does also state that "the gang stole more than £100,000 worth of bikes over a two-year period." 

If the former is accurate, it would indicate the latter is technically also accurate but a massive underestimate. Possibly it's a case of "we found bikes worth £100,000 but know they have stolen many more". 

I would also note the 68 thefts per month is the total reported within the City, not all of which would have anything to do with this gang. Also note that the City of London Police's juristiction is relatively small - it is quite likely that the gang would have been involved in thefts in areas that fall under the Met.

https://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/news/city-of-london/news/2024/februar...

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OldRidgeback replied to OnYerBike | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

I note that the plant hire firm still seems to be in business. 

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