Thief jailed for stealing bicycle during police operation in Balham
A dim-witted thief has been jailed after pinching a bike during a police anti-cycle theft operation in Balham.
John Holloway, 24, from Southwark, will spend the next 12 weeks behind bars after being caught red-handed by officers during the Projects Cycle Ops initiative near Balham station on April 24.
Holloway was handed a four week sentence at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Thursday (August 15), plus an extra eight weeks for breaching a previous suspended sentence, also for bike theft.
A second man, Thomas O'Connor, 21, from Rotherhithe, was also fined at the same court for handling stolen goods.
Officers from the Cycle Task Force and Wandsworth Safer Transport Team witnessed both O'Connor and Holloway approach a locked bicycle at Balham station O'Connor, who was on a Raleigh Urban 700 bicycle, acted as look-out while Holloway cut the lock.
But the witless pair were quickly arrested by officers who found that the Raleigh bicycle O'Connor was riding was stolen.
The legitimate owner was contacted who informed officers he had left his bicycle secured outside his home address in Balham High Road that morning and has just returned home to find it was no longer there.
Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command said: "Had the stolen Raleigh not been security marked and registered, officers would not have been able to identify an owner.
"We encourage all cyclists to register details of their bike on the MPS preferred cycle online registration service - www.bikeregister.com for this reason."
If your bike is stolen in London, please report this to the Metropolitan Police Service by calling 101 or online at www.online.met.police.uk. In an emergency dial 999.
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