THREE people were arrested after a police sting to catch bike thieves.
In response to a rise in the number of bike thefts in the west of Sunderland, the Neighbourhood Policing Team launched Operation Crystal, which saw bikes fitted with tracker devices and placed in locations where the majority of thefts were happening.
The bikes were subsequently stolen and due to the tracking devices police were able to trace the bikes – and the people who stole them.
A 27-year-old man and 16-year-old boy were arrested and charged with theft of a bike.
The man was given a 12-month conditional discharge while the teenage thief is still awaiting sentence. A 27-year-old man was arrested and charged with being in possession of a stolen bike and was fined.
Sunderland West Neighbourhood Sergeant Ashley Hopper said: “We can identify the location of bikes that have been stolen. It may be the bike has been quickly sold on by the thieves. However, by identifying who is in possession of it, can help in our inquiries to trace those responsible for these thefts.
“This sort of activity will continue, as we continue to tackle the number of bikes being stolen.
“We also want communities to work with us, and make it more difficult for thieves to steal in the first place.”