Sheffield bike shop targeted by thief twice in 10 days blast ‘uninterested’ police response

The owners of a Sheffield bike store counting the cost of being repeatedly targeted by the same thief have criticised the police’s ‘uninterested’ response.

Thursday, 20th August 2020, 9:47 am

Giant Store Sheffield, on Queens Road, was targeted twice in just 10 days by the same man, who tried to steal a carbon mountain bike worth £4,000. The thief broke into the shop using an angle grinder to cut a hole in the fire door, having climbed over a wall to access the back of the building at around 4am on 6 July.

After being unable to dislodge the high-end bike from its stand – and with the shop’s security alarm ringing - he fled and returned on July 16 but was unable to gain entrance a second time because of enhanced security measures.

Both incidents were immediately reported to South Yorkshire Police alongside a clear CCTV image of the suspect’s face and the registration plate for a white VW caddy van he was seen driving. But despite the store’s manager ‘virtually handing the case on a plate to officers’, no action has been taken.

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The Giant bike store on Queen's Road has been broken into. Pictured are store manager Andy and business owner Chris James.

Business owner Chris James said: “We feel absolutely amazed and bewildered. The heartache and the damage caused, the worry of being attacked again has been horrible.

"I can’t believe we have done so much to give the police information to hopefully sort the criminal out and it just seems to have been ignored and not acted on.”

Although the thief was unable to steal the mountain bike, he still caused “thousands” worth of damage and Chris has spent “a minimum” of £5,000 on repairs and improving security.

Store manager Andy added: "It’s just been a farce, trying to get some progressive communications off them has been very, very difficult.

The thief tried to steal a bike worth £4,000.

"We’re concerned it could be a weekly thing because our industry, over the last three months, has been massively successful.”

The store stocks several bikes worth thousands of pounds and other branches have previously been targeted by thieves.

The officer investigating this incident told Andy police had identified a suspect and invited him to attend a voluntary interview – but later cancelled it due to other priorities.

Chris said: “We did all the investigation work. The frustration we feel is at any time this guy could come back and have another go at us.

The thief used an angle grinder to gain entrance in the early hours.

"We’ve been left out on a limb. You just feel the police aren’t interested. Enough’s enough, we are incredibly frustrated.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “This is very much an active investigation. Officers conducting enquiries have carried out extensive CCTV trawls to identify the suspect and locate the vehicle involved.

“We have kept in regular contact with the victim and kept them updated of all developments since the initial report was made. Burglary enquiries can be lengthy but we will always try our best to ensure those responsible are brought to justice and our victims are supported.”