Police say her gathering evidence on thief constituted entrapment
Joey's bike was stolen after her 12 and a half hour shift. Picture: Twitter/Jeremy Vine
A health worker from Chiswick may have no option but to buy back her own bike which was stolen from outside the hospital at which she works.
Joey, a mental health nurse, had just finished a 12 and a half hour shift at Mile End Hospital when she found her Pinnacle Gabbro Racer had been taken.
She discovered that the thief arrived on a Santander Bike then used cutting equipment hidden under his clothes to break the lock and rode off with her bike and baby blue helmet.
The stolen bike was then advertised on Gumtree for a price of £180 against the recommended retail price of £400.
She reported the matter to Gumtree but they did not initially take the ad down even though she asked a number of friends to also report the matter.
Joey’s boyfriend made contact with the seller, who lived in Brixton, saying that he wished to purchase it. The thief claimed that he was getting rid of it because he had bought it by mistake not realising it was a ‘girl’s bike’.
Joey took the information that she had to the police including the address of the person who was selling the bike but they refused to take action. They said that because the seller had been contacted that any arrest would constitute entrapment.
Her case was taken up by her neighbour the broadcaster Jeremy Vine who posted a video on Twitter in which Joey told her story and he urged the police to take action.
My brilliant neighbour Joey is a mental health nurse.— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) June 3, 2020
Last night her bike was stolen.
It turned up on Gumtree - but when she gave police the name and address of the thief, they said they couldn't help because her investigative work would make it entrapment.
This is NUTS. pic.twitter.com/AmyxsWGzWi
Joey told him, “It’s just very frustrating and obviously after a very long shift you’ve got a long bike ride home and to not be able to come home unless taking public transport which obviously is a risk for both me and my patients.”
After we contact them a Gumtree spokesperson said, “We do not tolerate the listing of stolen items on our site and were sorry to hear about Joey’s experience. The ad has been removed and our dedicated safety team are looking into this matter and will be taking the appropriate action, which can include blocking the user from our site, sharing information and working with police to aid their investigation. We strongly urge anyone who suspects they have found their stolen property listed on our site to do as Joey has done, contact the police and report it to us using the ‘report this ad’ button that appears next to all ads listed on Gumtree.
"We encourage users of our site to be vigilant and if you have any doubts that the item you’re viewing is stolen, don’t buy it. When purchasing bikes on Gumtree, our recommendation is to ask the seller for the frame number or registration number which can then be verified through websites such as Bike Register. We are committed to educating people about how to avoid buying stolen items and safety advice for all Gumtree users can be found on our website.”
We have contacted both the Metropolitan Police for comment.
June 5, 2020