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Suspected bike thief caught out by shop staff

David Lee

David Lee

Suspected bike thief caught out by shop staff

The stolen bike was a Trek 8.4 DS, as seen here.

Quick-thinking staff at a bike shop rumbled a suspected thief who tried to get a bike modified at the store it had been bought from.

At about 3pm on Sunday, Sebastian Smith, a sales assistant at The Bike Company in St Leonard’s Road, was approached by a teenager who asked him to adjust the saddle on a top-of-the-range hybrid Trek bike.  But after spotting a company sticker on the £600 two-wheeler, Sebastian suspected something was up.

He said: “I was standing behind the counter and he breezed in without a care in the world and asked me to lower the saddle down.

“I recognised the bike, it was quite high calibre and we’ve only sold three in total.

“I remember all my customers and I just couldn’t recall him with that bike. It just didn’t fit.”

Sebastian pretended to get a tool from the store room but instead alerted the manager of the shop in St Leonard’s Road.

The pair then searched for the bike’s serial number and discovered that it had been sold to another customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, just months before.

They challenged the teenager, who was wearing a grey tracksuit and claimed he was ‘borrowing it from a friend of his dad’s’.

But when the youngster could not give the correct ownership address of the bike, shop staff grabbed the bike from him before he launched a volley of expletives and left the shop.

“It was just total stupidity. He just didn’t realise four people were staring him down knowing full well what he was up to,” Sebastian said.

“How stupid can you be?”

Thames Valley Police attended the scene and took the bike away to sweep for fingerprints.

It is currently investigating the incident.

Sebastian added: “The important message we say is, when you’re buying a bike spend at least 10 per cent of the price on security.”

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