Appeal to trace cyclists after theft of mobile phones in Bedford

Undated file photo of a policeman. Police officers may have to take on back office roles in the wake of fresh budget cuts, crime commissioners have warned.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday September 4, 2015. Forces are already said to be warning that they will have "no option" but to shift uniformed officers into support posts if a new round of austerity means civilian staff numbers are scaled back. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has submitted an analysis of the possible impact on the police service of possible cuts over the next five years. See PA story POLICE Cuts. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Undated file photo of a policeman. Police officers may have to take on back office roles in the wake of fresh budget cuts, crime commissioners have warned. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday September 4, 2015. Forces are already said to be warning that they will have "no option" but to shift uniformed officers into support posts if a new round of austerity means civilian staff numbers are scaled back. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) has submitted an analysis of the possible impact on the police service of possible cuts over the next five years. See PA story POLICE Cuts. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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Police are appealing for information after two mobile phones were stolen by cyclists on two separate occasions.

The first incident took place between 10.10am and 10.30am, on December 18 when the victim was outside the Park Inn St Mary’s Street in Bedford. She was approached by someone on a bicycle who snatched her phone from her hand, before continuing to cycle along the river and past the rowing club.

The offender is described as a white man, wearing a black hoodie and riding on a dark bike. The crime reference number for this incident is JH/51919/2016.

The second incident took place on Monday, December 19, between 12.45pm and 12.50pm, as a woman was walking along Denmark Street. As she was nearing Castle Road she was approached by a cyclist, who passed her and snatched her phone from her hand. The offender continued cycling along Denmark Street, chased by the victim for a short distance.

The offender is described as a black man, approximately 20 years old. He was wearing a navy hoodie with the hood up, dark trousers and black gloves, and was cycling on a dark coloured bicycle. The crime reference number for this incident is JH/52140/2016.

Gary Maxey from Bedfordshire Police’s Crime Service Team said: “Two similar incidents took place in two days, and we are keeping an open mind as to whether they are linked. We are looking to speak to anyone who remembers seeing these incidents, or was in the area at the time.

“I would urge people to be wary if you are approached by someone offering to sell you a pink iPhone 5SE or an iPhone 5S with no authenticity documents. If someone does approach you with similar items for sale, please report it to us.

“Please consider your safety when out and about – keep your mobile phone and other valuables out of sight, and consider property marking your phone. Although property marking cannot stop something from being stolen, it can act as a deterrent because something that is property marked can be more difficult to sell on. It also means that if it is found, it can be returned to its owner more easily.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the crime service team on 101 quoting either crime reference number listed above. Alternatively call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.