Prolific Bolton train station bike thief jailed
A PROLIFIC thief who stole bikes from Bolton train station has been ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work.
Peter Gray, of South Street, Great Lever, persistently stole bicycles from cyclists at the station in Trinity Street.
He was arrested after British Transport Police circulated his image, which was on CCTV, to police forces.
Gray, aged 43, entered the station on July 16 at around 8pm. He cut the lock from a bike, worth £900, on platform three and left.
The following day he returned at 5am, again to platform three. He stole a another bicycle, worth £120. He then stole a wheel from another bicycle.
He was arrested on July 25 and his house was searched. Officers found one of the stolen bicycles and a quick release wheel.
He pleaded guilty to two thefts of bicycles and one theft of a bike wheel at Bolton Magistrates Court.
Magistrates sentenced him to an 80-hour unpaid work requirement and the work must be completed within 12 months. He was also ordered to pay £450 compensation to the victim whose £900 bike was stolen.
Sgt Anthony Ryan, of British Transport Police, said: “Cycle theft is a high priority for BTP as so many rail passengers are using bikes to travel to and from stations. Sadly some criminals see cycle racks as a veritable Aladdin’s Cave and, as this case has shown, will return to the same station to steal cycles.
“Last week we launched Operation Wiggins to tackle the increasing number of cycle thefts we are recording across the country.
"Though some thieves are incredibly determined, there are a number of steps cyclists can use to reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime. Some thieves will still target cycles, but if you follow the advice there is a much stronger likelihood that, if your bike is stolen, we will be able to recover it, catch the person responsible and return your property.”
He advised people to lock all quick release wheels as well as the frame to a strong immovable object.
He also advised people to take a photograph of their bike and record the frame number.
People should also mark their bike frames with a postcode in two areas hidden from view and register their bike here.
Cyclists should also leave their bikes locked in areas covered by CCTV.