Man sentenced after stealing test ride bike

Nottinghamshire Police

A brazen thief took a £4,000 bike on a test ride and didn’t come back.

But police put the brakes on 49-year-old Martin Betts, who was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to two counts of theft, going equipped for theft and three driving offences relating to three different incidents.

The first theft was on 12 September 2019, when Betts took a bike worth nearly £4,000 for a test ride from Halfords Cycle Republic in Maid Marian Way and never returned.

A week later, on 19 September 2019, Betts stole a bike which was locked up outside Co-Op in Bridgford Road, West Bridgford.

Betts put the stolen bike into a car and drove off, failing to stop for police and hitting three parked cars before abandoning the vehicle and running off.

Police identified him as the driver of the vehicle and CCTV confirmed he was also responsible for the theft at Cycle Republic. Several arrest attempts were made before he was stopped by police in Loughborough Road on 17 October 2019 and found to have bolt cutters and tools with him.

He admitted two counts of theft, driving without due care and attention, driving without a licence and driving without insurance and was sentenced at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on 25 February.

Betts, of Andover Road, Bestwood, pleaded not guilty to going equipped for theft in relation to being stopped in Loughborough Road but was found guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday 14 February.

As well as the unpaid work, he was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Sarah Merrall said: “We understand how frustrating it can be both for bike owners and businesses when these types of thefts happen.

“That’s why we’re committed to investigating these cases and continuing our work to reduce bike thefts in our communities.

“I would like to encourage bike owners to use good quality locks which can’t easily be cut through. It’s also a good idea to get your bike security marked and registered with Bike Register. We hold regular bike marking events in Rushcliffe – follow our local social media pages for dates.”

You can find the Rushcliffe South Police Facebook page here.