A teenager who stole a bike from National Health Service pharmacist who was using it to commute to and from his work at a hospital in Newcastle Upon Tyne has been convicted of theft.
Northumbria Police say that the 17-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted taking the bike from the Royal Victoria Infirmary on Monday 6 April.
CCTV footage showed two males entering the car park at the hospital’s Richardson Road entrance at around 4pm while a third acted as lookout.
North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told that they then rode the bike around the car park before making off with it.
The victim of the theft, who was also caring for his vulnerable mother who has cancer, was using the bike to get to and from work while avoiding public transport.
Inspector Karen Madge, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing in Newcastle, said: “This teenager is well known to us and a lot of work has already gone in to try and help divert him away from criminality.
“What may appear to be a petty theft can have a devastating impacts for a victim and in this instance cycling was a way for the victim to avoid public transport to safeguard their family.
“Unfortunately the bicycle has still not been recovered and we will continue to keep our eyes out so we can try and return it to the owner.
“We have stepped up our patrols around the RVI so we can reassure hospital staff that we are doing all we can to safeguard their property.
“This is not the first instance of theft at the RVI in recent weeks and we find it appalling that such theft would take place on hospital grounds.
“I know the wider community is standing together with our colleagues in the NHS and we will do everything we can to ensure they don’t fall victim to crime.”
The youth has been released on bail under the condition that he does not re-enter NHS premises except in the case of an emergency.
He is due to return to North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on May 11.
The past month or so has seen numerous reports of bicycles being stolen from outside hospitals around the UK.
It appears that thieves are taking advantage of quieter streets due to the government's lockdown, and the fact that many NHS staff have switched to bicycles for their travel to work to avoid public transport.
Please note that we are unable to accept comments on this story.
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.