Two men have been jailed for a total of three and a half years for conspiracy to commit theft, after bicycles were stolen from Horsham railway station.
In total, Derek Butt and Michael Barnes targeted ten railway stations across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, taking a number of bicycles - valued at more than £10,000.
Mr Butt, 31, of Abbey Place, Dartford, was sentenced to two years in prison and Mr Barnes, 32, of Victoria Street, Belvedere, was jailed for 18 months.
Both appeared for sentencing at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday July 11, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
The pair targeted Horsham railway station in July 2013. It was one of three in Sussex where thefts occcurred.
A spokesperson for British Transport Police (BTP) said a joint investigation by BTP and Kent Police between June and September 2013 was successful when the pair tried to sell a number of the stolen cycles to an undercover police officer.
Detective sergeant Paddy Kerr, of BTP’s area crime unit, said: “Butt and Barnes were responsible for a whole series of cycle thefts from ten stations in Kent, Surrey and Sussex over a number of months.
“They would drive to stations during the day in a mini van and use bolt-cutters to remove the locks of high-value bikes secured in cycle racks.
“They’d then leave the scene with the stolen bikes in the back of the van – often taking more than one bike at once.”
The court heard how in Sussex, cycles were taken at Wadhurst, Horsham, and Stonegate stations.
In Surrey, the pair also stole a high-value bike from Dorking station.
DS Kerr added: “An undercover officer from Kent Police met with the pair on a number of occasions between June and August and was offered stolen bikes for sale.
“These meetings provided crucial evidence for the investigation and also meant we were able to recover six stolen bikes that were offered for sale by Butt and Barnes.
“Butt and Barnes were persistent offenders whose crimes took valuable bikes away from their owners – many of whom used them to commute to work every day. Their sentence sends a clear message that cycle crime will not be tolerated.”