Motorcycle theft suspects rounded up over social media posts

Arrests following ‘months of surveillance work of social media accounts’

Bristol thieves

POLICE hope to have sent a message to motorcycle thieves who brag about their crimes on social media after rounding up three suspects.

The three 16-year-old boys were arrested yesterday morning in Bristol on suspicion of vehicle theft after Avon and Somerset Police monitored social media accounts

Visordown reported in February this year how a Bristol Instagram group was boasting of stealing motorcycles and posting pictures like the main image on this article.

Avon and Somerset Police said at the time that it was aware of the account and actively investigating it.

Inspector Rob Cheeseman said yesterday: “This morning’s arrests follow months of surveillance work of the social media accounts which we suspect this group have been using to brag about their criminal behaviour.

“We know the motor-biking community find these accounts deeply frustrating and insulting, as do we. But our surveillance work has paid off and it is satisfying to see these individuals in custody today.

“These social media accounts are a good source of intelligence for us but it can be tricky to use what’s on them as evidence that will stand up in a court of law, beyond all reasonable doubt.

"Today’s action should send a strong message to those posting on these groups that we are watching them and they won’t get away with brazen criminality.”