Thieves that targeted high value bikes jailed and handed Criminal Behaviour Orders
Two men have been jailed and handed Criminal Behaviour Orders for stealing a series of bicycles in Chester.
Steven Tebble, 44, and Christopher Macbeth, 38, stole 11 bikes in the city between Friday 2 October and Wednesday 9 December.
They targeted valuable bicycles that had been left outside shops, high schools, a college, a pub, a fast food restaurant and even the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Many had been left in designated bike racks.
The pair used tools to cut chains off bicycles in order to steal them.
Macbeth tried to sell one of the stolen bikes online.
His and Tebble’s downfall came when officers, acting on information supplied by city centre CCTV operators, caught the thieves with three stolen bikes in the nearby Saddlery Way on Wednesday 9 December.
When they were arrested, Macbeth and Tebble were in possession of bolt cutters and pliers respectively.
A subsequent search of Macbeth’s home subsequently led to a large number of bike parts being seized.
This included a bike frame from one of the stolen bikes.
When interviewed in custody, Tebble claimed that he had not stolen any bikes.
He and Macbeth both refused to answer any questions, but the officers investigating bike thefts in Chester subsequently uncovered a raft of evidence against them.
This included CCTV footage of them stealing bikes.
The majority of the offences were captured on CCTV.
Forensic and telecoms evidence and witness statements also linked the pair from Flintshire in North Wales to the 11 bike thefts.
Tebble, of Tan Y Bryn in Buckley, and Macbeth, of Farm Road, Garden City, Deeside, were subsequently charged with conspiracy to steal bicycles.
After being made aware of the extent of the evidence against them, they pleaded guilty to the offence at Chester Crown Court on Thursday 25 March.
They were sentenced that day.
Both men were jailed for 14 months and handed five-year Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs).
Tebble was ordered to serve an additional four months in prison due to the sentencing having triggered a suspended sentenced he received for a burglary he committed in North Street, Shotton, on Tuesday 7 July.
Police Constable Melissa Sawojka, who led the investigation into the bike thefts at Chester Local Policing Unit, said: “Steven Tebble and Christopher Macbeth were travelling from North Wales to Chester to steal bicycles.
“The opportunist thieves travelled with tools they used to cut the chains off bikes that caught their eyes.
“We are all fully aware that being the victim of a bicycle theft is a deeply unpleasant experience. Anyone would be angry and upset to discover that their bicycle has been stolen, especially if they had taken the precaution of chaining it up outside.
“Tebble and Macbeth even targeted bikes that were chained up outside the Countess of Chester Hospital and a high school.
“Thankfully, CCTV operators spotted them stealing bicycles on Wednesday 9 December and we were subsequently able to locate the pair, arrest them and have the three bikes they had stolen that day returned to their rightful owners.
“Thanks to an extensive investigation and the strength of the evidence we were able to gather, Tebble and Macbeth have now been convicted of stealing them and eight other bikes and are now behind bars facing the consequences of their actions.
“When they are released from prison, they will have to adhere to the terms of CBOs for the next five years.”
CBOs are preventative orders which are designed to stop people committing further offences.
Breaching a CBO carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
The CBOs handed to Tebble and Macbeth prohibit them from:
- Entering Chester city centre and other areas of the city they stole bikes from
- Being together in any public place in England or Wales
- Entering any educational grounds or bicycle storage area or cycle rack in England and Wales, unless they are retrieving their own bicycles, attending an accredited course or have express permission from someone working at the premises
- Possessing a bicycle or bike parts anywhere in England or Wales without proof of ownership or permission to use them
- Offering to sell on any social media platform any bicycle or bike parts without proof of ownership or permission from the user to sell them.
PC Sawojka added: “I hope this case deters others from stealing bicycles and coming into Chester or elsewhere in Cheshire to commit crimes.
“I also hope that it highlights the fact that we take all reports of bike thefts seriously and do all we can to bring the thieves to justice.”
Cheshire Constabulary’s advice for bicycle owners to reduce the chances of their bikes being stolen are:
- Store your bicycle securely at home in a garage or shed, or bring it inside your property
- Lock or chain bicycles together or to something fixed or bulky, as this reduces the chances of a thief being able to steal them
- Consider fitting a shed alarm and improve the exterior lighting around your home to deter offenders
- Property mark your bicycle frames using an ultraviolet pen or other form of property marking, to enable it to be returned to you should it be stolen and subsequently recovered by the police
- Always lock the building where the bicycle is stored using a good quality lock that can be bolted to the door and frame – use disc lock padlocks which have a less exposed shackle
- Park your bicycle in safe, well-lit places, ideally ones that are covered by CCTV
- Always lock your bike when leaving it outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes – secure your bike, including the frame and wheels, to a fixed and immovable object, such as a bike rack or lamp post, using a good quality bicycle lock
- Keep a note of the make, model and serial number of your bike, and make sure that you have photographs of it.
Anyone with information regarding bike thefts or the whereabouts of stolen bicycles should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.