A man has been jailed for eight months following a spate of bike thefts in Warrington town centre.
Alan Reid, of Winmarleigh Street, stole five bikes from outside shops at the Cockhedge Shopping Park.
The 49-year-old admitted to his crimes and was sentenced at Warrington Magistrates Court on Friday 14 August.
Another man, Steven Littlewood, 54, of Folly Lane in Warrington, was given a 12 week sentence suspended for 12 months for his role in stealing the bikes.
The thefts took place between Saturday 1 August and Thursday 13 August.
Reid would use a bolt cropper to snap the locks, take the bikes to Littlewood and then both men would cycle away.
However on Thursday 13 August a member of security at the shopping park spotted Reid using the equipment to break a bike lock and alerted police.
Local officers and Warrington’s Problem Solving Team swiftly attended to the scene and both men were arrested with Reid still in possession of the bolt cropper.
Sergeant Alex Reeves, from Warrington’s Problem Solving Team, said: “This was a great team effort from the problem solving team who worked with response officers and the beat management team.
“I must also praise the member of the public who caught Reid red handed and quickly alerted police.
“Reid is a career criminal who never gives a second thought to the people he is stealing from.
“However we understand how crimes like these affect the public and we will continue to pursue these criminals to see them put before the court.”
David Keane, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “We must not underestimate the impact these types of offences have on the victims and on communities.
“Well done to the member of the public who spotted Reid committing this crime and instantly reported it, and to the officers who swiftly put a stop to their actions.”