A light-footed thief who crept into a Windermere Street backyard and stole two bikes within 20 seconds, has been caught in the act by security cameras.
14-year-old Jacob Alsop was looking forward to riding his brand new mountain bike to school every day of this year before a brazen thief stole it and his brother’s bike at around 6am on Tuesday morning.
“I was actually asleep in bed when mum yelled out ‘your bike’s gone’,” Jacob said. “I was in shock and thought ‘no way’. I was actually pretty angry.”
Tech-savvy dad Mick Alsop, checked his extensive security cameras to find a single thief had crept down the side of the house and snatched two bikes.
“I originally thought they (the offender) must have come in the middle of the night – but the camera showed it was 6am and we were all home,” Mr Alsop said.
“He grabbed one bike, stuck it round the corner and grabbed the other one and left.
“He wheeled the second bike on the front wheel – because the back wheel makes a clicking sound.”
Mr Alsop said a yellow bike was found dumped out the front of the house, which he understands was stolen from another house and deemed “not good enough” by the offender.
After calling police, Mr Alsop posted the CCTV on social media. His video received enormous traction – was shared 1200 times and viewed at lease 15,000 times.
Around 30 residents, many who live in the area, have contacted Mr Alsop offering street view CCTV footage.
“I think people are starting to get sick of people who they think can come in and take things that are not theirs,” Mr Alsop said.
“(By sharing the video) the community just want to help – and this is an easy way to go about it. People can just be sitting at home on the couch and spread the message to thousands of people.”
The bikes – worth a combined total of $1600 are as: a black matte Giant mountain bike with a small amount of blue on it and a white Veille BMX bike with red rims and red pedals.
Ballarat Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Young said police were continuing to investigate CCTV footage.
He said police were appealing to any witnesses who saw a male offender riding a yellow bicycle in the area on January 9 or 10 to contact police.
The yellow bicycle was found near Mr Alsop’s property after the theft.
“We are issuing a public appeal for anyone with any information to contact CrimeStoppers,” Acting Senior Sergeant Young said.
Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Ballarat police on 5336 6000.