A teenager has been convicted of stealing a bicycle from a pharmacist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and riding it around the hospital car park.
The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is a juvenile, admitted taking the pedal bike from the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle on Monday, April 6.
At about 4.40pm, CCTV footage showed two males enter the car park at the Richardson Road entrance of the hospital, while a third played lookout as they stole a bicycle belonging to a pharmacist.
The 17-year-old and his friends then rode the bicycle around the hospital car park before they made off with it, North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told.
The pharmacist had been using the bicycle to avoid public transport and reduce the risk of picking up coronavirus and passing it on to his vulnerable mum, who he lives with and is battling cancer.
An investigation was launched and officers working in Newcastle city centre swiftly recognised one of the males in the footage as he had been warned under the new restrictions just days before.
The 17-year-old was arrested and charged with theft before he admitted the offence at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (April 16).
He claimed that he did not end up with the bicycle, which has never been recovered, and he was released on bail to be sentenced at a later date.
On Monday, the Neighbourhood Inspector in charge of policing in Newcastle has said patrols have been stepped up around the hospital to deter thieves in the area.
“This teenager is well known to us and a lot of work has already gone in to try and help divert him away from criminality,” said Inspector Karen Madge.
“Unfortunately the bicycle has still not been recovered and we will continue to keep our eyes out so we can try and return it to the owner.
“We have stepped up our patrols around the RVI so we can reassure hospital staff that we are doing all we can to safeguard their property.
“I know the wider community is standing together with our colleagues in the NHS and we will do everything we can to ensure they don’t fall victim to crime.”
The 17-year-old, who is from Newcastle, was released on conditional bail with conditions preventing him from entering any NHS premises unless it was an emergency.
He will re-appear at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on May 11.