‘Smartly dressed’ youths foiled in brazen RBS bike theft

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BRAZEN bikes thieves blagged their way into a bank’s secure office building before trying to make off with staff bicycles.

Four youths, reportedly smartly dressed to avoid suspicion, “tailgated” staff with electronic passes into the RBS complex at South Gyle.

RBS at South Gyle. Picture: Ian Georgeson

RBS at South Gyle. Picture: Ian Georgeson

They tried to steal bikes from a rack in a basement car park but were rumbled by security before escaping empty handed through a fire escape.

“We heard they were dressed in suits so as to blend in,” said one RBS worker. “Just the sheer nerve of them.”

The Evening News understands the Drummond House office block was targeted at around 6pm when exits would be busy with staff coming off shift.

Four youths passed staff into the building’s basement car park as workers operated secure doors with cards.

“Entry was gained as a result of tailgating,” reads a staff memo. “They were disturbed and exited through a fire exit gate.”

Suspicious staff rumbled the ruse before alerting security who confronted the four. They then fled the building on their own bikes.

The Drummond House block forms part of the bank’s administrative headquarters in the Capital, housing business support services staff.

An RBS spokeswoman confirmed police were called and CCTV footage handed over but dismissed claims the four were dressed in suits. She also praised the quick-thinking staff member who raised the alarm – and fast-acting security staff for thwarting the would-be thieves.

“Our security team were quickly alerted to the presence of the group who had entered the basement of our car park and acted promptly to ensure the property was protected,” added the spokeswoman.

“Police were informed and we are working with the authorities who are investigating the incident.”

The Capital is in the grip of a cycle crime wave with thefts at a three-year high across the city and thieves becoming evermore emboldened.

There were 2000 cases reported in the nine months up to January with only 5 per cent of cases cleared up.

Seasoned housebreakers are understood to have switched to luxury bikes as rich pickings with lesser penalties if caught.

The shift prompted Edinburgh’s top cop to pledge a crackdown on thieves amid calls from fed-up riders for bicycle theft to be made a higher priority.

Earlier this week the Evening News reported how masked raiders are targeting high-end bike shops in plush Stockbridge.

And last week, charity fundraiser Brian Gerry had his £3000 ride snatched off his roof rack in broad daylight on a busy West End street.

A police spokeswoman confirmed officers are probing the RBS raid and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

“Police in Edinburgh are investigating following a report of attempted theft from a premises in the Redheughs Avenue area,” she added.

“The incident happened at around 6pm on Wednesday 18 April.”

Anyone with information on the incident can contact police via 101, quoting incident number 3068 of April 18, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk