Stolen Bike Recovered In Just 2 Days & 100 Miles From Where It Was Registered26 Nov 2015
A SWIMMER who was left with a sinking feeling following the theft of his bike has had it returned to him in two days thanks to checks made by West Midlands Police and BikeRegister, the National Cycle Database.
Oliver Hall, 18, originally from London but who trains with a swimming team in Coventry, left his bike locked up outside Coventry Sports & Leisure Centre on 4th November − but when he returned after an afternoon swim it was nowhere to be found.
However, thanks to a simple crime prevention measure taken six years ago, when the then 12-year-old Oliver was living at his family’s London home, officers from Coventry Police’s Magpie team were able to locate and return his prized possession just two-days later.
“There is no such thing as a victimless crime, but what compounded this theft even further was that the lad’s strict training regime meant he often has to travel to the pool at 4.30 in the morning several times a week, and the bike was the only way he could get there," said PC Peter Ormond from Coventry Police (pictured inset).
As officers asked the student for a description of the stolen bike they unearthed a clue that ultimately led to its return − a Metropolitan Police sticker on the frame.
BikeRegister is the preferred bike marking and registration system of the Met Police and is used by all UK police forces. The database, which can help police recover stolen bikes to their owners, has over 448,000 bikes
registered to the system.
PC Ormond added: “It turned out the bike had been registered by his parents after a colleague from the Met had visited his family and offered some crime prevention advice. After a quick call back home we soon had details of the frame number which we uploaded to a national police system which revealed it had been sold to a city centre shop,"
The bike was recovered from the shop who at the time of purchase was unaware it had been reported stolen. An 18-year-old man is currently on police bail as part of the ongoing investigation.
With Christmas not far away Coventry Police’s Magpie Team is hopeful that this case highlights the importance of registering details of presents and gifts online.
PC Ormond concluded: “I’m sure there will be a few bikes on letters to Santa in coming weeks, so we are asking parents to ensure they register item details online. That way if they go missing before Santa makes his delivery we will be able to redirect them."
“The family’s decision to do just this helped their son six years later when he was over 100 miles away from home!"
Coventry Police are encouraging all bike owners to record their details
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