FIVE teenage boys have received cautions for stealing 13 bikes worth more than £4,100.
Prosecutions against the 16 and 17-year-olds at Portsmouth Youth Court were dropped when they were instead each given conditional cautions.
Although the offences date back to 2016 the teenagers appeared in court late last month.
Another 16-year-old boy, from Havant, stole five bikes between August 10 and August 30 in 2016.
He took two bikes from Fareham station, and three from Chichester. In all they were worth £1,755.
A 16-year-old boy stole a £500 bike at Fratton station on August 27.
A 17-year-old boy, from Fratton, took a £150 bike from Emsworth train station on August 6, 2016.
A 16-year-old boy, from Southsea, received stole two bikes worth £850 in total at Swanwick train station on June 10 in 2017.
Two other boys' cases are due to finish at Portsmouth Youth Court on Friday as they are expected to receive cautions from police.
Another boy, 17, from London, involved in the linked case, stole four bikes worth £850 on June 7, 2017, in Haslemere, Surrey.
The boys handed cautions took bikes worth £4,105 in total.
The teenagers’ court appearances come after The News reported yesterday that Fareham was one of the worst places in the entire country for stolen bikes.
Meanwhile, 698 bikes have been snatched from 15 railway stations around Portsmouth in the past three years – a figure which these teenagers all contributed to.
Sam Jones, senior campaigns officer for the Cycling UK charity, said bike theft was ‘notoriously under-reported’.
‘Bicycle theft might seem a relatively minor offence – and unfortunately is sometimes treated as such by some police forces – but it is most definitely not,’ he said.
‘It's a low-risk, high-reward crime, with stolen bikes easily changing hands for hundreds or even thousands of pounds.’