Members of an organised crime gang with links to Kent which stole bikes in London have been sentenced.
Gavin McKie, of Hill House Road, Dartford, was one of four to appear at Inner London Crown Court yesterday (February 9).
The 29-year-old was handed a 10-month suspended sentence for his part in the gang which stole more than £100,000 worth of bikes over a two-year period.
First launching its operation in 2020, police recovered 57 pushbikes as well as bike parts at Express Plant Hire – which was being used by the thieves and handlers as a place to dispose of the stolen bikes.
At the height of their spree – in August 2020 – there were 68 reported bike thefts in the city, with the number going down to just seven in January 2021 following the arrests.
Detectives caught the gang after a bike was stolen in November 2020 and officers tracked it to a warehouse in East London.
Further investigations of CCTV showed the thieves entering the warehouse on a daily basis and some of the defendants were seen on security footage dismantling the bikes.
“This group stole thousands of pounds worth of bikes, and since their arrests we have had a significant reduction in offences...”
Police have so far returned more than 20 of the bikes to their owners.
Also found guilty was 29-year-old Louey Baldwin of Wendover Way, Orpington, who was sentenced to two years and nine months.
Also sentenced for handling stolen goods were:
• Suleyman Akram, 30, of St Elmos Road, Southwark, has been sentenced to two years and six months.
• Ryan Boxcer, 32, of Gunner Rise, Shoeburyness, has been given a two year suspended sentence.
Baldwin was seen on the footage to hand over angle grinders, a common tool used to steal bikes, to the thieves.
Meanwhile, a further 21 bikes were recovered from Akram’s home address.
Seven members of this group have already been sentenced to prison or received suspended sentences.
Last year, on average, there were around 19 bike thefts a month, considerably lower than when the gang was operating.
Detective Constable Matt Cooper, in the Serious Organised Crime Team at City of London Police, said: “The City of London Police has been working tirelessly to catch and bring bike thieves and their handlers to justice, employing technology and innovative techniques to limit their opportunities to commit more criminal activities.
“The sentencing shows our dedication and work to achieve this outcome.
“This group stole thousands of pounds worth of bikes, and since their arrests we have had a significant reduction in offences reported as a result of the disruption to the handling mechanism in place for thieves targeting the City offences.”