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Police seek quartet linked to bicycle thefts
2:40pm Thursday 17th May 2012 in News
British Transport Police (BTP) officers are calling on members of the public to name four suspected prolific cycle thieves wanted in connection with a spate of cycle thefts across Hampshire and Sussex
Police believe these men are behind a string of cycle thefts in Sussex.
British Transport Police are appealing for anyone who can name the four men to contact them as they battle a 25% rise in thefts from railway stations in the county.
Police described them as “prolific cycle thieves” after linking them to seven crimes in West Sussex between October and March.
The men in these four pictures are wanted for questioning over thefts at Barnham, Bognor and West Worthing stations on October 19, and at Chichester station on February 25, March 6 and March 19.
Inspector Mick Morriss said: “We were only initially able to link a few offences to these men but the true extent of their criminality was uncovered through viewing hours of CCTV footage, pinpointing them at various rail stations on the dates cycles were stolen.
“We’ve followed countless avenues of inquiry to try to get names for these five, including circulating their images in the media and on police intelligence systems, including to local neighbourhood policing teams.
“We’ll continue to conduct plain-clothes and uniform patrols in a bid to apprehend these men. If you know them, we want to hear from you.”
Police are advising bike owners to use solid locks and lock their bikes through its frame rather than only through the wheel.
They say bikes should be left in well-lit areas if possible, and at proper bike racks.
Bikes can be security-tagged and registered at the website www.bikeregister.com.
Between April 1 last year and March 31 this year there were 302 bike thefts at railway stations in Sussex. The previous year there were 243.
A bicycle thief was jailed for six weeks on Tuesday, May 15 for stealing bikes from Three Bridges and Haywards Heath stations in March and April.
Ryan Brook, 18, of Stephenson Way, Crawley, admitted two thefts and had seven other crimes taken into consideration.
His accomplice, Ashley Patterson, 18, of Burtons Court, Horsham, admitted four thefts and had 10 other matters taken into consideration.
He was given a 12-month community order and 200 hours’ unpaid work.
Police traced them using CCTV footage from stations.
After they were sentenced at Haywards Heath Magistrates’ Court, the teenagers were both given two-year antisocial behaviour orders banning them from all railway bike storage areas in England and Wales.
They were also banned from carrying bolt-croppers, pliers, spanners, Allen keys or screwdrivers, on trains or at stations.
Two brothers are due to appear in court next month accused of stealing bicycles worth thousands of pounds from Three Bridges, Hove, Burgess Hill and Wivelsfield.
Thomas Jeffries, 24, from Romford, Essex, and James Jeffries, 22, of Hackney, London, are on unconditional bail until June 1.
Anyone who recognises the men pictured in the CCTV images should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference B12/LSA of 11/05/12, quoting the image number.