Brothers jailed for railway station bike thefts - Berkhamsted, Leighton Buzzard and Luton

13/03/2015

A Judge has slammed two unemployed brothers, who stole bikes from railway stations that had been left their by their hardworking owners while they went to work.

Jordan Back and Mitchell Back then sold the bikes, advertising them on the Gumtree website with photographs.

In six months, the brothers struck at railway stations in Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, Leighton Buzzard in Beds and Leagrave in Luton, stealing bikes worth nearly six thousand pounds.

Sending the brothers into custody at Luton Crown Court on Friday, 13 March 2015, Judge David Farrell QC said: "The target was the bikes of hard working members of the public who used the rail network to go to work."

The judge said the victims had left their bikes locked and secured in designated bike storage areas at the stations, only to return later in the day to discover hacksaws and bolt croppers had been used to cut through padlocks and chains, and their bikes gone. The judge said the brothers' victims were people "Who could least afford to lose their means of transport to get to work."

In stark contrast, the judge said Jordan Back, now aged 21, and his 19-year-old brother Mitchell, from Kingsland Close in Houghton Regis, had been unemployed and living off "the proceeds of crime."

The brothers appeared for sentence for an offence of conspiracy to steal bicycles between January of 2013 and July of that year.

Jordan Back had admitted the offence from an early stage following his arrest, but his younger brother, Mitchell Back, had stood trial only to be found guilty of the offence by a jury.

The court was told the brothers had carefully planned their crime spree, first establishing where the bike storage areas were at the stations and where the CCTV cameras were located. They made sure to wear hoodies, keeping their heads down and faces hidden from the cameras, and used hacksaws and bolt croppers to release bikes that had been secured by padlocks and chains. On many occasions the bikes would be ridden back to the brothers' home in Houghton Regis.

Judge Farrell was told it was older brother Jordan who had organised the thieving and set up the means of selling the ill-gotten gains by placing photographs of the bikes on the Gumtree website. The most expensive bike stolen by the brothers was worth £1220. In six months, the value of the bikes stolen came to £5739.

Despite the best efforts of the pair to keep their faces hidden from CCTV cameras, Jordan's face was captured and he was quickly identified. His personal details were also registered with Gumtree, and British Transport Police (BTP) arrested him and his brother. Jordan was 19 at the time and out of work and in debt.

The court was told his younger brother Mitchell Back had only been 16 at the time the stealing began and had played a lesser role and had not accompanied his older brother on every occasion when a bike was stolen. His barrister, Stephen Moore, said: "it was something to do when he was bored and he knew it was a stupid thing to do. That boy of 16 is not the 19-year-old that comes before the court today."

Passing sentence on the brothers, Judge Farrell said: "Both of you have been convicted of being party to what was professionally planned and executed conspiracy to steal bicycles from railway stations." The judge said Jordan had "advertised them for sale in a professional way to make money out of your thieving."

He sentenced Jordan Back to 18 months in jail and he ordered the younger brother be detained in a young offenders' institute for the next 16 months.

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