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Jail for York bike shop owner and his gang

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Operation Lucas - York bike thefts

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A York bike shop owner who headed up a professional bike theft operation, and two of his associates have been jailed.
Cycle City bike shop owner Phillip Rennison, aged 47 of Starkey Crescent; Tang Hall, will serve two years behind bars after targeting bikes at York railway station, and encouraging members of his gang, Andrew Elmer and John William Connelly to steal bikes to order.
Elmer, 39 of Boltby Road, York and Connelly, 34 of no fixed abode, were also both jailed for 16 months.
Connelly’s sentence was consecutive to a 44 month jail term he is already serving for two robberies.
The three men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal bikes from York station over a six month period from October 2016 to March 2017, and were handed jail terms at York Crown Court on Friday 2 February. 
The court heard how middle man Elmer passed Connelly the details of bike models to steal then the bikes were handed over shop owner Rennison. 
Connelly was stopped by two BTP officers after they saw him acting suspiciously near the bike racks at the station on November 3 last year and he was arrested for going equipped to steal. Text messages found on his phone linked him to Elmer and Rennison and an in-depth investigation - Operation Lucas - was launched which subsequently uncovered a large scale criminal operation. 
In March last year over 20 officers from BTP and North Yorkshire Police were involved in executing search warrants at two residential addresses and the Rennison's cycle shop in Clifton Moor where a number of bikes and cash was seized
Cycle City has since closed and Rennison has been declared bankrupt
Sergeant Nigel Ashworth said: “This was a complex investigation into an organised gang who were stealing bikes to order. Many of the gang’s victims had invested a great amount of time and money in their bikes and were at a loss financially, as well as affecting their commutes or getting to and from the railway station” 
“These three men showed contempt for the victims and the cycling community of York by stealing property and portraying themselves as legitimate bicycle enthusiasts.  
“We are committed to both reducing bicycle crime and investigating those who see railway stations as easy targets to steal bicycles.”
Honorary Recorder of York Judge Paul Batty QC said: “These defendants don’t care, they were only in it for the money.
“York is the second largest cycling city in Britain behind Cambridge. Cycle routes and cycling generally are an integral part of the fabric and economy of both the city and the university.
“The message has to go out loud and clear that those involved in this professional type of theft of bicycles in the city will receive deterrent sentences.”
 

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Operation Lucas - York bike thefts

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Operation Lucas - York bike thefts

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Op Lucas

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Phillip Rennison

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