A bungling bicycle thief has been jailed after he left a bag at the crime scene – containing his wallet and ID.
Callum Tumilty, 25, was arrested last week after swiping the bicycle from Newcastle city centre just weeks after being released from prison for doing the same thing.
PC Paul Lewins had been on foot patrol at about 11.20am when he noticed the 25-year-old pushing a bicycle near Exhibition Park.
But upon seeing the officer, Tumilty immediately dropped the bicycle and fled through the city centre before making good his escape.
PC Lewins decided to re-trace the suspect’s steps and came across a bag containing a bolt cutter, clothing and his wallet near to the bike shed at the Newcastle Dental Hospital.
The wallet contained Tumilty’s drivers licence and it did not take police long to track him down and arrest him on suspicion of attempting to steal the bicycle.
The thief, of Dipton Avenue, Benwell, was charged with theft and was jailed for 10 weeks after pleading guilty at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.
During his sentencing, the court heard how Tumilty had only been out of prison for four weeks when he committed the offence after previously being arrested by police for stealing a bicycle in November.
Inspector Karen Madge, who leads the Newcastle city centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, has said officers have also been able to reunite the bicycle with its owner.
“This was a fantastic piece of police work by PC Lewins who acted on his instincts when he saw this suspect acting suspiciously with the bicycle,” said Insp Madge.
“He used his knowledge of the city centre to try and re-trace the route taken by the man and that has led him straight to a bag containing the man’s ID.
“What’s more is that we were also able to reunite the bicycle with its rightful owner who was extremely grateful as she used it to transport her two children to nursery every day.
“There have been a number of bike thefts in the city during lockdown and we have ran a number of dedicated operations to target thieves because we understand the impact these offences can have on victims.
“That activity has seen a number of arrests and free bike marking events have also been held for NHS staff who have at times been targeted while on shift at the RVI.
“We hope our commitment to targeting these types of offences reassures those who live, visit and work in the city centre every single day that we are here to keep you safe.”
As well as his 10 week prison sentence, Tumilty was ordered to pay compensation of £230.