Wheelie stupid bike thieves

PUBLISHED: 08:13 03 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:14 24 May 2010

A Cheddar store manager put a spoke in the wheel of thieves who asked for new parts to be fitted to a bike. The alert shopkeeper recognised the bike as

A Cheddar store manager put a spoke in the wheel of thieves who asked for new parts to be fitted to a bike. The alert shopkeeper recognised the bike as one stolen from a shop just yards away.Almost £1,000 worth of cycle equipment was taken from from Extreme - Direct in Wedmore Road earlier this month.So when a man walked into Cheddar Cycle Store to get new equipment including wheels, a seat and handlebars, to put on one of the stolen bike frames, manager Paul Baker became suspicious.He had been made aware of the thefts thanks to the new Cheddar Business Watch scheme set up by the police so he told the man to leave the BMX bike with him and give him his phone number. He then immediately contacted the police.Thanks to Paul's plucky detective work, three youths were arrested in connection with the theft. One has been cautioned and police are still deciding whether to charge the other two people involved who have since been released on bail. All the bike equipment that was stolen has been recovered. Mr Baker said: "It was pretty stupid of them to steal it from Cheddar and then try to get equipment for it in the same village. You would think they would have gone further away so they didn't get caught."Both companies are members of Cheddar Business Watch on-line forum, which was only set up last month.Members can log on to the site and report crimes or suspicious behaviour in the area to inform other businesses and the police.PC Ian Bartlett said that thanks to the managers at Extreme reporting the theft on June 5 and 6 by using the forum, police were able to contact Paul and warn him. He added: "The forum was set up to allow police and businesses to work together and this is already proving to be the case. Community spirit can go a long way.

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