A Brighton man has been sentenced for stealing a bicycle after riding off on a “bait” bike fitted with a tracking device.
Aiden Stoner, 25, of Lewes Road, Brighton, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
Sussex Police said that it placed the bait bike outside the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College in Pelham Street, Brighton, as part of Operation Ensnare.
The force said that Op Ensnare is aimed at “tackling cycle theft in the city and particularly around the universities”.
Stoner took the bike on Monday 11 February, with the tracking device on the bike activated just after 5.30pm.
The bike was traced to an address in Gloucester Street, Brighton.
The jobless thief was arrested almost a month later on Friday 8 March and brought before the court on Thursday 4 April when he admitted the theft.
Sussex Police said: “His guilty plea was taken into account in sentencing and he received a 12-month conditional discharge for the offence and was ordered to pay costs of £105 and a victim surcharge of £20.
“Operation Ensnare is an ongoing initiative launched in September 2017.
“In its first three months, reports of pedal cycle thefts dropped by 48 per cent across the city.
“In east Brighton, thefts were down by nearly three quarters over the same period.
“Anyone with information about offenders or who wishes to report a theft is encouraged to do so online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Ensnare.
“Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”