Portsmouth thieves caught on CCTV stopping for a chat with neighbours after stealing bikes from driveway
A DAD has been left gobsmacked after thieves stole a pair of bicycles from his driveway in the middle of the day – then stopped to talk to his neighbours.
Engineer Phil Vaughan was stunned watching back on a neighbour’s CCTV as two bicycles – belonging to his son and daughter – were taken from his driveway in Whimbrel Close, Milton.
But what really shook the 54-year-old were reports from his neighbours, who told him that the culprits had stopped to talk to them and even offered to do the weeds in their front garden.
Mr Vaughan said: ‘From my neighbour’s CCTV, I watched these two guys stroll up to the driveway, bold as anything, then unhook the bikes from the railings.
‘After that, they started riding the bicycles up and down the street, and then stopped to talk to some of our neighbours before wheeling the bikes into their Transit van and heading off.
‘It’s crazy to think that they have the audacity to steal in that way.'
After posting about the theft on Facebook, Mr Vaughan said other people have faced similar issues.
Hampshire Constabulary said there is currently no evidence to suggest a surge in bicycle thefts in the city.
Mr Vaughan said: ‘It’s not about the value of the bikes, because they’re really quite old.
‘It’s the fact that these guys can walk up our driveway, pop the bikes in a van and just drive off.
‘If that’s the case though then there is no reason for anyone to have an expensive bike – these guys do not fear the law in any way.’
A spokeswoman from Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We can confirm that we received a report this morning of two bikes stolen from a driveway in Whimbrel Close between 2-2.15pm on April 30.
‘The bikes were attached to a wall with a cable lock, which had been pushed together appearing to be locked, but unfortunately not locked. Persons unknown have stolen the bikes.
‘We encourage people to use good quality bike locks and sell discounted D-locks from the front office at Portsmouth Central police station.’
Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting the crime reference number 44190149232.