CCTV surveillance could be improved at the new Fratton Tesco superstore after a teenager’s new £580 bicycle was stolen from its premises – in an area it’s claimed is not covered by cameras.
Sean Burton locked up his black and red Boardman Mountain Bike Comp HT in the undercover bike rack of the Portsmouth shop’s car park, thinking it would be safe.
Tesco decided to do the right thing, because it highlighted to the company there was a problem with the CCTV in that bike storage area.Dawn Burton
But the Portsmouth College student returned after a trip to McDonald’s across the road to discover his new bike – bought for his 17th birthday – had vanished along with his D-lock.
After seeking help from Tesco and security staff over what happened, Sean and his family were told the bike storage area was in a CCTV ‘blind spot’ – and a culprit couldn’t be traced.
But Tesco is to now go over the footage with police before working out whether there needs to be changes in its CCTV system.
And in a gesture of goodwill, the company has covered the full cost of a new bike for Sean.
Sean’s relieved mum, Dawn Burton, of East Shore Way, Milton, said: ‘Tesco decided to do the right thing, because it highlighted to the company there was a problem with the CCTV in that bike storage area. Tesco has arranged a meeting with the police to look at changes to the CCTV and signage.
‘Hopefully, when changes are made it will result in fewer thefts – or people just won’t put expensive bikes there if there is signage to say, “beware of bike thieves in the area”.
‘But I don’t think Tesco would have covered the cost of a new bike if it hadn’t been for the police getting involved or The News.’
Sean said: ‘Thank goodness I will be back on the road next week. I’m on cloud nine.’
A Tesco spokesperson said: ‘We were sorry to hear about the theft of the bike from our store car park and we are helping the police with their inquiries.
‘Having a bike stolen is never a nice thing to happen, so the store team are arranging to provide a suitable replacement for Ms Burton’s son and get him back on the road.’
Police say 30 bikes were taken across the city since the start of August – a 50-per-cent rise on the same period last year.
Steve Howard, the chief mechanic at Portsmouth Bike Exchange, in Southsea, has also warned a ‘professional gang’ is operating in Portsmouth.
Chief Inspector Jim Pegler says people living in the city can help by reporting suspicious activity and using a quality D-lock to secure their bike.