ARGUS staff used bolt cutters to “steal” the editor’s bike back from thieves.

Arron Hendy’s racing bike was locked up inside a garage in the city centre alongside another bike but thieves managed to get in and break the locks.

The editor was starting to give up hope of finding them when he spotted them locked up outside The Body Shop in Brighton’s North Street, four days later.

He called the police to tell them but they were unable to help, saying they already had 16 “high risk”’ incidents to deal with and told him to use bolt cutters to take the bikes back himself.

So The Argus team jumped into action.

Jody Doherty-Cove leapt into the Decathlon sports shop to buy a lock and they chained the bikes up again so that if the thieves came back they could not take them away.

Then news editor Kim Mayo drove to B&Q in Lewes Road with the editor, where they bought a huge pair of bolt cutters.

They parked back in the city centre and headed back to North Street, where they cut the thieves’ lock apart, before unlocking the new lock they had purchased in order to keep it there.

From there they triumphantly headed back to the office with the bikes.

Arron said: “I was just walking up North Street and wasn’t looking for my bike but it suddenly caught my eye and I thought ‘that’s my bike’.

“It’s not really worth a great deal but it’s my bike and I was not going to lose it again. I called the police but they couldn’t help.

“I was concerned that if the thieves came back there could be a difficult situation. The police could not send anybody, but they were very helpful and gave me advice.

“I called Jody as I knew he was nearby and I stayed with the bike while he went to get a new lock for me so that we could secure it while I went to get some bolt cutters.

“The bolt cutters cost me nearly £50 but I wanted my bike back.

“When we were walking back up North Street to cut it free we saw a few officers dealing with a demonstration and told them what we were doing in case they were concerned about two men walking up the road with a bike and some bolt cutters.

“Thankfully we freed the bikes and we now have them back.”

A police Spokesman said: “Police received a call at 5.40pm to report two stolen bikes had been found chained up in North Street, Brighton.

“The member of the public was advised officers could not attend but to call back if there were further issues.

“Calls are assessed on their threat, harm and risk to the member of the public and at that time officers were on higher priority calls. The member of the public was advised to call back if he needed assistance should there be a breach of the peace.

Sergeant James Ward said: “Our Op Ensnare has consistently reduced the theft of pedal cycles since it started around 14 months ago. There has been multiple arrests during this time and numerous bikes recovered and returned back to their owners.

”In the past two months we have had a spike in thefts in East Brighton and as a result we are putting more resources to deal with the problem with days of action targeting offenders planned.”