Stratford bike thief caught shoplifting day after court hearing

Mohammed Boufassa, 46, from Leytonstone Road, Stratford.

Mohammed Boufassa, 46, from Leytonstone Road, Stratford. - Credit: Archant

A man has been jailed for four and a half months after he was caught shoplifting a day after being sentenced in court for stealing four bikes from commuters.

Mohammed Boufassa, 46, of Leystonstone Road, Stratford, pleaded guilty to stealing from a bike rack at Epping Underground station between February 2012 and November 2012.

On each occasion, the cyclists returned to find their bikes and locks missing.

Boufassa, who also goes by the name Malik Labidi, was identified by CCTV footage that caught him in the act.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and he was ordered to pay £814 in compensation and £85 costs at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday June 10.

But Boufassa was arrested again the next day by Essex Police for shoplifting which revoked the suspended sentence and he was jailed for a total of 18 weeks.

Speaking after the sentencing, PC Isla Hipworth, the investigating officer, said: “Mohammed Boufassa’s actions caused enormous inconvenience and upset to the victims. They were affected financially and forced to make alternative arrangements to travel.

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“Bikes are a popular target for thieves but there are a number of steps cyclists can take to ensure their bikes are adequately secured and marked to help reduce their risk of becoming a victim.

“The key thing is to use a solid lock to secure your bike and remember to register it. If a bike is adequately marked, it makes it much easier to identify and therefore reduces its desirability to thieves.”