Hasi from W6 and Najjar from W14 used same con 26 times
Two men from W6 and W14 have been jailed for a total of four years and three months after admitting being involved in the theft of 23 bicycles, altogether worth around £61,000.
Tariq Hasi, 24 of Cambridge Grove, W6 and Issa Najjar 26 of Aisgill Avenue, W14 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and were sentenced on Monday, November 16 at Isleworth Crown Court.
Police say the convictions follow a long-running investigation, led by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, in partnership with eight other forces, into thefts between October 2013 and February 2014.
Hasi was sentenced to two years imprisonment and Najjar was sentenced to two years and three months in prison.
All of the bicycles were stolen in the same way. The victim advertised their bicycle for sale on the internet and was contacted by a prospective buyer and a meeting arranged.
At the meeting, Hasi or Najjar would ask to take the bike for a test ride, leaving behind a laptop bag.
They would then cycle off, stealing the bicycle and when the victims checked the laptop bag, they found it contained old books.
The men were arrested on March 3 2014 by West Midlands Police after being stopped in a van containing two high-value cycle frames and cycle parts. These were later identified as being stolen from victims selling them in Hertfordshire and Surrey on February 8 and 27.
Officers from West Midlands Police contacted the Roads and Transport Policing Command Proactive Unit, who have a team of experienced officers specialising in investigating cycle theft.
They identified 17 cases in London and a further nine cases in surrounding areas where Hasi and Najjar had used this method to steal bicycles.
They were charged with conspiracy to steal on December 10 2014 and were bailed to appear at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, January 6.
Detective Chief Inspector John Oldham, of the Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: "These men were organised criminals who were involved in a large scale conspiracy to steal bicycles from people selling them online.
" We are determined to bring cycle thieves to justice and by disrupting large-scale criminal activity like this, we can continue to reduce cycle theft across London."
Steve Burton, TfL’s Director of Enforcement and On-Street Enforcement, said: " With the number of people cycling in London continuing to rise, we encourage everyone with a bike to take advantage of the free bike registering events held across the Capital by the police and when locking up your two wheels our advice is to use at least one gold secure lock.
" We, alongside our policing partners, are committed to improving cycle security in the Capital and will push for the toughest penalties possible for those caught stealing."
November 26, 2015