Police search for bike thief

Police in Cheltenham are looking into a series of robberies in the town, all committed by a man on a bike.

Since the beginning of February thirteen crimes have been reported where bags and handbags have been stolen by a cyclist as he rides past his victims.

Police have released an e-fit has and they are asking anyone who recognises him to contact them.

Inspector Jon Roberts said: "The description of the offender given in each of these incidents is incredibly similar and we believe the offences may have committed by the same man.

"The e-fit relates to an incident in Cleeveland Street and we would ask people to take a good look and let us know if they recognise him. All information will be acted upon and treated in the strictest of confidence.

"We hope that by releasing this e-fit, along with the CCTV released yesterday, we will be able to work with the public to find the person responsible and bring them to justice.

"We are treating these incidents very seriously have put on additional resources to catch the offender.”

The man is described as white, aged in his early twenties and has been seen to wear a dark coloured hooded top.

If you recognise the man in the e-fit or have any information about any of these incidents you can contact Gloucestershire Police on 0845 090 1234.

You can also give information anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

He is thought to be responsible for the following incidents:

On February 18 at approximately 6.30pm a 20-year-old woman was walking along the Tewkesbury Road when a man on a pushbike, heading away from the town centre, approached her from behind and took her handbag from her hand.

Between 7pm and 8pm on February 22 a 29-year-old woman was walking along the Gloucester Road with her handbag on her shoulder. A cyclist approached her from behind and grabbed her handbag before cycling off.

On February 28 at around 6.20pm a cyclist stole a bag from a 37-year-old woman as she walked along Marsh Lane.

Between 11pm and 11.20pm on March 3 a 41-year-old woman was walking along the footpath along the front of Benhall Gardens when a cyclist stole a bag from her shoulder.

At approximately 6.40pm on March 5 a 76-year-old woman was walking along the Tewkesbury Road when a cyclist snatched her bag from her shoulder before cycling up Sun Street.

A 57-year-old man was walking along the Gloucester Road at approximately 7pm on March 8 when his holdall bag was grabbed by a cyclist who then rode off.

At around 8.20pm on March 5 a 52-year-old woman was walking in the area of Cleeveland Street when she was approached by a man on a bike. He grabbed her bag and cycled off towards Sun Street. The woman suffered minor injuries to her arm during the incident.

A cyclist approached a 50-year-old woman as she walked along Hope Street in Cheltenham at around 7.20pm on March 8 and attempted to snatch her handbag. This caused the woman to fall to the ground and suffer minor injuries to her hands and knees. The offender cycled off empty handed.  

At approximately 8.20pm on March 12 a 45-year-old woman was walking along Alstone Lane in Cheltenham. When she reached the junction with Pates Avenue a man on a bicycle cycled up behind her and snatched her handbag. This caused both the offender and the woman to fall to the ground. The victim suffered cuts and grazes in the incident.

Another robbery happened at around 5.30pm on March 13 on Honeybourne Way when a cyclist, a man wearing a dark jacket, attempted to steal a handbag from a 48-year-old woman. He did not steal the bag and rode off in the direction of the Gloucester Road.

CCTV was released following a robbery at around 12.30pm on March 14. A 71-year-old woman had her handbag snatched on the pavement outside the Waitrose on Honeybourne Way. A man on a bike cycled past the woman and grabbed her handbag and a black plastic bag. He then rode off towards the Honeybourne Line. The woman suffered a minor injury to her arm and was obviously very shaken.

At approximately 6.30pm on March 15 a 30-year-old woman was walking along the Gloucester Road when she was approached from behind by a man on a push bike. The cyclist attempted to steal her handbag, but was not successful.

A similar incident happened on the Arle Road in Cheltenham at around 8.10pm on March 15 when a cyclist grabbed a handbag from the arm of a 29-year-old woman walking along the road. He stole the bag and cycled away in the direction of Hester’s Way.