Thief was a part of ‘sophisticated’ gang stealing bikes

Portsmouth magistrates court
Portsmouth magistrates court
Police in Middle Street, Portsmouth, over the weekend.

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A BICYCLE thief who was part of a ‘sophisticated crime ring’ responsible for a spate of thefts in Portsmouth has appeared in court.

Dominic Davis, 19, pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court to two charges of handling stolen goods and one of equipping himself with heavy-duty bolt croppers with a view to stealing a bicycle.

The court heard that several expensive bicycles were taken – one near Portsmouth Crown Court’s building – throughout last summer and then posted for sale on Facebook or online trading sites.

Tim Concannon, prosecuting, said: ‘During the summer of last year there has been an extensive and elaborate system of stealing bikes – usually high-value push bikes.

‘The modus operandi is exactly the same wherever you go.

‘It involves Mr Davis. It does involve others.’

He added: ‘It’s a sophisticated ring.

‘It involves using bolt croppers, cutting away the chains securing the bikes and then stealing.’

He said in one instance a victim and the victim’s partner contacted the defendant on Facebook with the intention of buying the bike back.

But police were contacted by the victims and officers attended when the defendant came to sell back the bike.

Mr Concannon said: ‘Unbeknownst to Davis, the police were waiting there and actually caught them in act of selling back the bikes to the owners.’

Davis, of Melville Road, Eastney, admitted trying to sell on a bicycle worth £500 on July 29 last year.

He admitted receiving a bike which he knew was stolen at Park Building, in King Henry I Street, Portsmouth, on January 20 this year.

He admitted being equipped for theft in Fawcett Road, Southsea, on November 25 last year.

A 16-year-old boy from Portsmouth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also appeared in court, but the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Davis was released on unconditional bail until April 10 when he may be sentenced.