A prolific thief has been given what is thought to be one of the longest prison sentences issued in Leeds for stealing bicycles – after admitting 131 offences.
Steven Scott was jailed for two years after he held his hands up to a string of crimes going back several months.
Police estimate he was responsible for snatching £80,000 worth of bikes.
Sgt Andy Berriman, of Leeds City Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “It’s probably the longest sentence I’ve heard of for someone stealing bikes.
“Taking him off the streets has already had a significant impact.”
Scott, of Heathcroft Bank, Beeston, was initially arrested for a single offence.
But distinctive clothing the 44-year-old was wearing was then linked to another theft that had been caught on CCTV.
A team of officers working on connecting repeat offenders to unsolved crimes then began trawling back through evidence to find out if he was responsible for others.
Sgt Berriman said: “Over the course of four or five days we had a team working on it and Scott came back in and spoke to them and eventually admitted to all these other offences.
“When offenders expect to go to prison, they will often wipe the slate clean to prevent us having to arrest them again when they come out. He just cleared the decks.”
Scott was charged with, and admitted, seven offences of bike theft, as well as taking a vehicle without consent and going equipped to steal, when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court.
But he asked for more than 120 other crimes to be taken into consideration when he was sentenced.
A criminal may ask for offences to be taken into consideration arises when they are accused or convicted and want to wipe the slate clean.
Scott was also given a five-year anti-social behaviour order banning him from carrying any equipment that could be used to steal.
Insp Richard Clarke, who leads the NPT, said: “The number of thefts of pedal cycles within the local area has fallen massively in recent months, not only because of efforts to put offenders behind bars but also because of the work we do to prevent offences in the first place.”