Moment thief hammers lock in bid to steal NHS worker's bike
Breaking the cycle of crime: Moment thief hammers lock in bid to steal NHS workers' bikes... blissfully unaware he's caught on camera in police stingVideo shows the men stealing the bikes at Royal Vic
Breaking the cycle of crime: Moment thief hammers lock in bid to steal NHS workers' bikes... blissfully unaware he's caught on camera in police sting
- Video shows the men stealing the bikes at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle
- Northumbria Police said they have arrested the two robbers, and ten others
- Robberies happened as doctors and nurses fought to save patients' lives
- The trust the hospital is part of has recorded 116 deaths from coronavirus
The gut-wrenching video shows two men checking locks in a bike shed at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, before smashing one and stealing two bikes.
Doctors, nurses and other hospital employees had been using them to get to work during the pandemic, as they fought to save patients' lives.
Northumbria Police said they have arrested four men for stealing bikes at the hospital, including the two men in the video. They are aged 44, 40, 23 and 21.
One of those arrested, 44-year-old Malcolm Tindle, was jailed for six weeks last month for stealing a bike from the hospital in May.
A police sting operation, where plain-clothes officers watched a bike, has led to six more men being arrested for bike thefts.
This includes two men, aged 27 and 29, who were seen in the hospital's bike sheds but did not steal any from the site.
The Newcastle NHS Hospitals Trust, which the Royal Victoria Infirmary is part of, has recorded 116 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic.
This is the moment two callous thieves steal bikes at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle
Northumbria Police said both men have been arrested and will appear in court in December
The horrifying two-minute video shows the men using what appears to be a hammer to smash through a lock on a red bike.
They also pick up a white bike in the shed before cycling away with both.
One man is wearing a blue t-shirt and black trousers, and the other is wearing a grey t-shirt and shorts.
Northumbria Police made the arrests through Operation Monty, where plain-clothes officers placed a bike in a high-theft location and then watched nearby to see if it was stolen.
The operation was run several times in the last two months in order to catch the perpetrators.
The two men in the video are expected to appear in court in December, and are subject to legal proceedings for separate, unrelated offences.
The thieves hacked at the bike locks with what appeared to be a hammer
Police took action in a sting operation following the bike thefts at the hospital
Of the 12 arrested, the 44-year-old man has been sentenced to six weeks in prison.
A 16-year-old boy arrested for bike theft has been referred to the Youth Offending team while another thief that was arrested has been released pending further enquiries.
Officer Karen Madge said the force was proud to help out NHS staff during the crisis
A further nine of those arrested have been charged with offences linked to the theft of bicycles and will appear in court in due course.
Neighbourhood Inspector Karen Madge oversaw Operation Monty and says it was the least they could do to help the hospital staff.
She said: 'Our doctors, nurses and hospital workers have been doing an incredible job during the coronavirus pandemic and have put themselves at risk to save the lives of others.
'It has been absolutely appalling to see these NHS heroes targeted by thieves and we have been putting measures in place to prevent this from happening and to safeguard their property.
After the operation, police successfully recovered these two bikes. They are appealing for anyone thinking that they have lost the bikes to get in contact
'One of those measures was Operation Monty and I am delighted that this sting operation has been such a massive success, securing property and bringing suspects in to custody.'
She also added a warning for bike robbers: 'The Operation Monty planted bicycle could be anywhere at any time and that means our plain-clothed officers aren't far away either - that should be a huge deterrent to those committing thefts in the city.'
Officers have successfully recovered two bikes and are appealing to the public for help locating their rightful owners.