A teenage thief has been convicted of stealing a bicycle from a hospital pharmacist and riding it around a hospital car park.
The 17-year-old boy, who can not be named because he is a juvenile, admitted swiping the pedal bike from the RVI in Newcastle on Monday, April 6.
At about 4.40pm, CCTV footage showed two males enter the car park at the Richardson Road entrance of the hospital, while a third played lookout as they stole a bicycle belonging to a pharmacist.
The 17-year-old and his friends then rode the bicycle around the hospital car park before they made off with it, North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.
The pharmacist had been using the bicycle to avoid public transport and reduce the risk of picking up coronavirus and passing it on to his vulnerable mum, who he lives with and is battling cancer.
An investigation was launched and officers working in Newcastle city centre swiftly recognised one of the males in the footage as he had been warned under the new restrictions just days before.
The 17-year-old was arrested and charged with theft before he admitted the offence at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
He claimed that he did not end up with the bicycle, which has never been recovered, and he was released on bail to be sentenced at a later date.
Today our Neighbourhood Inspector in charge of policing in Newcastle has said patrols have been stepped up around the hospital to deter thieves in the area.
“This teenager is well known to us and a lot of work has already gone in to try and help divert him away from criminality,” said Inspector Karen Madge.
“What may appear to be a petty theft can have a devastating impacts for a victim and in this instance cycling was a way for the victim to avoid public transport to safeguard their family.
“Unfortunately the bicycle has still not been recovered and we will continue to keep our eyes out so we can try and return it to the owner.
“We have stepped up our patrols around the RVI so we can reassure hospital staff that we are doing all we can to safeguard their property.
“This is not the first instance of theft at the RVI in recent weeks and we find it appalling that such theft would take place on hospital grounds.
“I know the wider community is standing together with our colleagues in the NHS and we will do everything we can to ensure they don’t fall victim to crime.”
The 17-year-old, who is from Newcastle, was released on conditional bail with conditions preventing him from entering any NHS premises unless it was an emergency.
He will re-appear at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on May 11.