A mum has been left fuming after her daughter’s £300 limited edition bike was stolen in Emsworth before being posted online – with police accused of opening the floodgates to thieves after taking no action.
Toni Hickley, 40, claims a crime gang is stealing items before posting them on Facebook Marketplace in various nearby locations.
But the Thorney Island parent said she had ‘lost all faith in the police’ after she traced the Facebook account of the woman selling the Victoria Pendleton bike – but no action was taken.
Salt has been further rubbed into the wound after the stolen bike was posted on up to 12 Facebook Marketplace accounts.
The brazen thief used bolt cutters to steal the locked bike from Emsworth Train Station earlier this month – in full view of CCTV.
Ms Hickley says the same account has posted other known stolen items from people including several other bikes as well as laptops, computers, television and clothes.
The mum said she posted an online message on an Emsworth mum’s page before she was inundated with responses on the stolen bike.
She said: “We had lots of people messaging us saying the bike had been put up for sale on Facebook Marketplace accounts.
“We asked people to message the woman about the bike to find out where she lived. We even had a father saying his daughter’s bike was stolen by the same woman.
“We gave it to the police on a plate. We said we could meet them at the address but they wouldn’t do it.
“There is a gang targeting nearby areas with thefts before posting items.”
Emsworth residents are so concerned by police apathy they have started a petition calling for action which they plan on sending to their MP.
“It is a huge problem and yet there is no comeback,” Ms Hickley added.
A spokeswoman for British Transport Police, whose authority the crime falls under, said: “We endeavour to investigate every crime as thoroughly as possible but we have to prioritise and this case remains at a very early stage.”
Anyone with information should contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 648 of 07/09/19.