'Mastermind' of bike theft gang that stole £100,000 worth of bicycles during Covid lockdown jailed

Louey Baldwin (City of London Police)
Louey Baldwin (City of London Police)

A man who was in charge of a gang that stole dozens of bikes in the City of London has been jailed for more than two years.

Louey Baldwin, 29, was busted after an operation in 2020 found that more than £100,000 worth of bikes were taken over a two-year period.

The gang responsible was caught when detectives tracked a bike stolen in November 2020 to a warehouse in east London.

City of London Police recovered 57 bikes, as well as bike parts at Express Plant Hire – a legitimate tool rental service which was also being used by the thieves and handlers as a place to dispose of the stolen bikes.

CCTV footage showed the thieves entering the warehouse on a daily basis, while some defendants were seen dismantling the bikes.

Baldwin, of Wendover Way, Orpington, was seen to hand over angle grinders, a common tool used to steal bikes.

He was sentenced to two years and nine months in jail at Inner London Crown Court on Friday, after he pleaded guilty to handling stolen bikes.

Similarly, Suleyman Akram, 30, of St Elmos Road, Southwark, has been sentenced to two years and six months.

A further 21 bikes were recovered from Akram’s home.

Stolen bikes (City of London Police)
Stolen bikes (City of London Police)
Suleyman Akram (City of London Police)
Suleyman Akram (City of London Police)

Ryan Boxcer, 32, of Gunner Rise, Shoeburyness, has been given a two-year suspended sentence.

Gavin McKie, 29, of Hill House Road, Dartford, has been given a 10-month suspended sentence.

During August 2020, there were 68 reported bike thefts in the City but, after their arrests, the number of reported bike thefts in January 2021 fell to seven.

On average, last year saw around 19 bike thefts a month.

Detective Constable Matt Cooper, in the Serious Organised Crime Team at City of London Police, said: “The City of London Police has been working tirelessly to catch and bring bike thieves and their handlers to justice, employing technology and innovative techniques to limit their opportunities to commit more criminal activities.

“(Friday’s) sentencing shows our dedication and work to achieve this outcome.

“This group stole thousands of pounds worth of bikes, and since their arrests, we have had a significant

reduction in offences reported as a result of the disruption to the handling mechanism in place for thieves targeting the City offences.”