Online seller of stolen bikes gets jail sentence.
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 2:02pm 9 February 2012
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A 21 year old man has been jailed for 6 months for his involvement in the sale of stolen bicycles online. Alan Miah, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiring to handle criminal property.
A second man, Mohammed Masselmeh, was also sentenced and ordered to carry out 200 hours community service for conspiring to launder the proceeds of crime.
The arrest and conviction of the two men involved an investigation by the joint Metropolitan Police Service's and Transport for London's (TfL) Safer Transport Command (STC) Payback Unit and Cycle Task Force. The Met’s Cycle Task Force was set up following campaigning by LCC before the last mayoral election.
The police began their investigation after a cyclist, who had had his black Giant bike stolen notified police that he suspected it was being sold online.
Miah was arrested by officers from the Cycle Task Force in possession of the stolen Black Giant bike. The bike, which has since been restored to its rightful owner and a mobile phone were seized. Further searches at Miah’s home were carried out where two bikes and numerous phones and laptops were seized. Forensic examination linked Miah and Masselmeh to selling and trading of over 120 bikes.
Efforts were made to link a number of the bicycles advertised for sale with reported crimes that occurred around the time of the advertisements, resulting in five victims being identified. All five adverts were posted within a week of these bicycles being reported stolen, in two cases; it was between 24-36 hours.
Chief Superintendent Sultan Taylor, Safer Transport Command, said: "This case demonstrates how the Payback Unit and Cycle Task Force are tackling organised cycle theft through proactive investigations and operations, as well as disrupting the trade of stolen Act 2002 (POCA) legislation to seize criminal assets and reduce crime. “ More than 200 arrests have now been made by the unit.