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Watch: Norwich man tackles bike thief almost twice his age in city centre

PUBLISHED: 15:21 13 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:06 14 October 2018

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry

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This is the moment a 25-year-old man tackled and held to the ground a bike thief he caught red-handed in Norwich city centre.

Adam Laskey, of Mile Cross, jumped on Jimmy Blevins and spent several minutes trying to restrain him after the 49-year-old drug user attempted to steal his friend’s bike on Wednesday.

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue.

Minutes later, Norfolk police arrived and arrested Blevins, who was found to have stolen two other bikes weeks earlier.

He was jailed at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, where deputy district judge Elizabeth Harte described him as a “relentless thief”.

Describing what happened, Mr Laskey, said: “We had been in Cycle Republic and saw him standing next to our bikes. We could see he was going to do something.

“I didn’t realise at this point the lock had already been cut and he pulled my friend’s bike away and got on it.

“I thought if I don’t do anything about it now, he will do it again.”

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark PerryVideo footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry

Mr Laskey said his friend pushed Blevins off the bike, before he grabbed him and held him down.

The pair had used a D-lock and a metal cable to secure their bikes near The Bell Hotel.

Video footage of the incident shows the thief pleading with Mr Laskey to let him go.

He tries to stand up at one point, but Mr Laskey, who works for a company at Norwich Airport, throws him back on the ground.

“I’m not letting you get away with it,” Mr Laskey says in the video. “We work hard to pay for our ****.”

Mark Perry, from London, said he filmed the incident in case someone was injured.

The 45-year-old fire alarm engineer praised Mr Laskey for remaining calm, despite Blevins repeatedly trying to escape.

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark PerryVideo footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry

He said: “He [Mr Laskey] wasn’t overly aggressive. He was very calm, he wasn’t shouting or screaming.”

Later in the footage, an unknown woman comes over to ask both men what they are doing.

She can be heard saying: “He has his own issues and I know it’s incredibly frustrating.

“His life is more important than your bike.

“Violence is not the answer.”

But Mr Perry tells her: “He hasn’t hurt him. If he was hitting him I would have stopped him. He hasn’t hit him or physically hurt him. He is restraining him, there is a difference.”

Blevins, of Johnson Place, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court.

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark PerryVideo footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry

He was charged with stealing three bikes and damaging a bike lock between September 10 and October 10.

The court heard how he was also in breach of a court order imposed in April this year for battery.

Prosecutor Jane Walker said CCTV footage linked Blevins to two other bike thefts on September 10 and September 25.

In total, the three bikes were said to be worth £1,800, while the damaged bike lock from the October 10 incident cost £60.

She said Blevins had a “lengthy record” of offending.

Ian Fisher, mitigating, said Blevins had a problem with drugs, including heroin.

He added: “He has a history of suffering from depression and anxiety that is rooted in a number of family problems over the years, not least the death of a child.

Video footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark PerryVideo footage filmed by a passer-by shows Mr Laskey holding the thief down near The Bell Hotel on Farmers Avenue. Photo: Mark Perry

“While he did run into difficulties with heroin, until a few months ago he had been clean but found himself getting involved with other users.

“He does not inject, he just smokes it.”

Sentencing, deputy district judge Elizabeth Harte said Blevins’ criminal record was “appalling”.

She said: “These are offences to a high value occurring in a very short space of time.”

Blevins was jailed for 36 weeks.

According to figures from Norfolk police, bike thefts are not uncommon in Norfolk.

A total of 3,480 were stolen between January 2016 to July 11, 2018. Based on an average cost of £480 per bike, a total of £1.7m-worth have been taken in that period.

Adam Laskey, of Mile Cross, jumped on Jimmy Blevins to restrain him after the 49-year-old drug user attempted to steal his friend’s bike on Wednesday (October 10). Photo: Adam LaskeyAdam Laskey, of Mile Cross, jumped on Jimmy Blevins to restrain him after the 49-year-old drug user attempted to steal his friend’s bike on Wednesday (October 10). Photo: Adam Laskey

Figures from Norfolk Police show Norwich is the county’s hot spot for bike crime, with 802 thefts reported in 2017.

Norfolk Police said they were doing everything they could to trace stolen bikes and catch those responsible for stealing them.

But speaking back in August chief inspector Lynne Cross said cycle theft continued to be an issue in Norwich.

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