Two Doncaster bike theft suspects 'detained' after alleged electric saw threats at college
Two would-be cycle thieves allegedly used an electric saw to make threats before stealing bikes at a Doncaster college.
Police later stopped two suspects after the incident, which happened at New College, Doncaster, in Auckley, at a time when there has been a spate of bike thefts at schools across the borough.
Insp Mark Payling, of the Doncaster Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “A robbery also occurred at New College on April 15 in which the suspects threatened the victim with an electric saw before stealing a number of mountain bikes from the location.
“They drove off in a vehicle which was soon spotted by officers who pursued and stopped it.
“The two occupants were detained for robbery and property and a weapon were recovered.”
He added: “Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been high demand for bikes, but they have been difficult for people to get hold of.
“It is possible this is why we have seen so many thefts of bicycles recently.”
It is not the first time an educational establishment has been targeted in the last few weeks.
Thieves broke into a garage at Stone Hill School in Scawsby in February, and took the bikes, sparking a fundraising drive to replacement them via the website Go Fund Me.
The original target was £500 but that was raised to £1,000 after support poured in.
And six students at Scawsby’s Ridgewood School were said to have been left ‘heartbroken’ after raiders targeted the Barnsley Road school at the end of April. An appeal raised hundreds of pounds towards replacements afterwards.
Ridgewood’s headteacher, Andy Peirson, spoke out about the ‘unsavoury incident’ at his school, and reassured parents and students over safety and security at the school.
In a letter to parents he said: “Last week we had an unsavoury incident when a group of thieves gained access to the school bicycle store and some bikes were stolen, and during the theft, no students or staff were at risk.”
He said that CCTV was in operation and the footage had been provided to the police, who were investigating the incident.
"Unfortunately, this theft is one of several that have taken place on school sites across Doncaster recently,” he added.