The man who stole a teenager’s £3,000 racing bike just days before National 10 mile time trial championships in 2012 has been jailed for four months.
Thomas Jeffries, 25, of Bethnal Green Road, E2 pleaded guilty stealing 14 year-old Georg Mew Jensen’s bike from Redbridge Cycling Centre in north east London in May last year, the Metropolitan Police have said.
Jeffries was caught after one of Jensen’s friends saw the bike being loaded into van. He took a photo of the vehicle as it left the centre and passed it to the police’s Cycle Task Force unit who began an investigation to trace the bike.
Meanwhile, Jensen’s family started a poster and social media campaign to get the bike back. The appeal reached BBC radio DJ Robert Elms and Gary Kemp from the band Spandau Ballet, who raised £700 to replace Jensen's bike. The money was given back.
The teenager spent two years building up the Storck bike up using his savings and race winnings.
The theft happened two weeks before the 10 mile TT championships last year, but the bike was found and returned in time for the race – which Jensen won.
After the verdict - delivered on 24 April - Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command, said: "This was an excellent result which has seen a high value bike successfully returned to its owner and a judicial outcome with time in jail for the thief.
Siwan Hayward, Acting Director of Community Safety, Enforcement and Policing at Transport for London said bike theft was a priority for TfL.
Hayward said: “This is another great result for the Cycle Task Force which was set up to tackle cycle theft in London."