Video: Leith bike thief is gone in 30 seconds

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PINT-sized thieves took just seconds to free a bike from its secure chain before speeding off on their stolen wheels.

Stunned owner Bruce Mason was working at the Union of Genius soup cafe on Forrest Road when the teenage robbers struck.

The footage.

The footage.

He managed to get hold of CCTV footage recorded by a neighbouring shop – and has posted it online in an attempt to smoke out the thieves.

The film shows four youths with three bikes, suggesting they were looking for another one, before the electrically assisted grey and green Raleigh Velo XC is swiftly parted from its lock.

Within minutes of it being taken on Sunday, Mr Mason, who owns the cafe, leapt on to his wife’s bike and scoured the area for the four, but failed to track them down.

The 48-year-old, who had gone back inside the cafe after working on his van just before the raid, now hopes someone will recognise the youngsters and report them to police.

Bruce Mason got the CCTV footage from a neighbouring shop. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Bruce Mason got the CCTV footage from a neighbouring shop. Picture: Ian Rutherford

He said: “I hadn’t noticed 
anyone hanging around but maybe they’d been watching because it happened not long after I went back inside.

“I decided to ask the neighbouring shops if they had CCTV covering the street and was quite pleased to discover one of them had caught the whole thing.

“It barely took them any time at all. The bike was secured with a cable lock that I’ve had for two or three years. They took that too. I still have the key.”

Mr Mason said he took the footage to Gayfield Police Station on Tuesday after becoming fed up waiting for an officer to call him back – and insisted his report hadn’t been taken 

He said: “I understand the police are very busy, and that there are worse crimes, but when you have CCTV of the event it seems a bit crazy that you have to repeatedly ask them to look at it.

“The person I spoke to at Gayfield did not seem to understand what a USB stick was and asked if I could hand in my tablet computer instead, which I had also brought with me.

“As they could not guarantee when I could get it back, I refused. I told them the footage could also be seen on YouTube, but the person I spoke to said officers were not allowed to 
access the site.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are investigating the theft of an electrically assisted Raleigh pedal cycle from outside a business premises in Corunna Place some time between 4.30pm and 5pm on Sunday.

“Anyone who has any information that can assist our inquiries should contact Police Scotland on 101, or make an anonymous report through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Kim Harding, spokesman for campaign group Pedal on Parliament, said it was likely far more bike thefts take place in the Capital than are ever 
reported to police.

He said: “Most people just think the police aren’t interested, so they don’t even bother telling them.”