A bike shop boss has hit out at “police apathy” after it took TEN days for them to pursue a thief.
A bike worth £650 was stolen from Sowerby Brothers Cycles in Princess Street, Mirfield, on November 11.
Store staff immediately identified the thief on CCTV and owner Dave Sowerby posted a picture of him on Mirfield Matters Facebook group.
The suspect was quickly named by members of the group.
But despite having two witnesses to the crime, a high quality image of his face, a name and an address, Mr Sowerby says police were not interested.
The suspect was eventually caught after Mr Sowerby refused to give up. The thief – Shaun Hudson – has now been sentenced by magistrates after admitting the offence.
Mr Sowerby said: “I was actually more angry with the police than the culprit.
“I never expected to get the bike back. I just wanted some sort of justice.
“We rang 101 every single day until a willing police officer came.
“He ended up being really helpful in the end but it shouldn’t take that level of persistence to get action.
“It’s a shame it took 10 days when we handed them all the evidence they needed within 24 hours.
“It does seem to be pot luck based on which officer you get.
“I know there’s bigger crimes out there but when you’ve given them everything they needed on a plate you think things will happen quickly.”
Hudson, of Oliver Gardens, Mirfield, admitted at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court to taking the ladies racer bike.
Magistrates heard that the 41-year-old was spotted acting suspiciously but Mr Sowerby was distracted by a customer.
Hudson seized the chance to cut the lock and take the bike from a display outside the shop.
He rode off on it and tried to sell it at a local pub.
Hudson said he only intended to buy a puncture repair kit but then saw an opportunity to steal the bike.
He owed money and managed to sell it for £45.
Magistrates gave him a conditional discharge for 12 months.
He must pay £650 compensation to the shop plus £85 court costs and victim surcharge.
The bike has not been recovered.
Mr Sowerby said he was pleased some sort of justice had been done and would encourage others to be persistent.
“You hear about people reporting things and nothing ever getting done,” he said.
“The fact we actually got him to court and the police acted, I feel is a result.
“But it’s a shame it came to that.
“I’d like to thank the community for coming forward to identify him and I hope the guy can now get some kind of help.
“There’s good and bad in everybody.“