A BIKE thief was jailed within 24 hours of being arrested, thanks to vigilant members of the public.

Craig Andrew Richardson was seen using a set of bolt croppers to remove the lock from a bike in a rack in York city centre at just after 2pm on Thursday, November 1.

The man rode off, but was picked up by City of York Council’s CCTV cameras, and his location was passed to officers on patrol. He was arrested at about 2.15pm in Piccadilly.

Richardson, 25 and of no fixed address, was taken into custody, and charged the following day with the theft of a pedal cycle, and going equipped for theft.

He was brought before York Magistrates Court the same day, where he was jailed for six weeks. He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge, and his bolt croppers were confiscated.

The bike, a Calibre Saw 6061, worth more than £300, was returned to its owner in York with help from Facebook users.

In a separate incident on Wednesday, October 31, a member of the public spotted a man removing a seat from a bike in York city centre at about 3pm. A suspect was arrested an hour later, and the bike seat recovered. A 49-year-old man has been charged with theft, and will appear in court in December.