The owner of a bicycle shop in York has been jailed for two years for playing his part in an organised cycle theft ring in the city.
Phillip Rennison was the owner of the Cycle City bike shop at the time of the thefts. The 47-year-old would pass on the makes and models of bikes to be stolen to a friend, Andrew Elmer, who then passed them on to John Connelly.
Connelly would then steal the bikes from the cycle parking area at York railway station and pass them to Rennison.
All three admitted to conspiracy to steal.
Seven bikes worth a total of £4,729 were stolen between October 1 and November 3 2016, reports the York Press. The bikes have yet to be recovered.
Connelly was caught by police after being spotted behaving suspiciously at the station cycle parking facility. He was found to have tools for breaking bike locks.
Further CCTV footage of Connelly stealing bikes was subsequently uncovered, and his phone contained messages between himself, Rennison and Elmer discussing which bikes to steal.
Rennison’s bike shop is now closed and the business has been declared bankrupt. York Crown Court was told that the business had built up debts of £40,000, and that was why Rennison had become involved in theft.
In addition to Rennison’s two-year sentence, Elmer and Connelly were both sentenced to 16 months in prison.
Connelly is already serving 44 months for two other robberies, and will have the sentence added to his existing time in jail.
“The message has to go out loud and clear that those involved in this professional type of theft of bicycles in this city will receive deterrent sentences,” said Judge Paul Batty QC, Honorary Recorder of York.