A MAN has been caught on CCTV stealing an expensive bike from outside flats in Basildon town centre.

CCTV imagery captured by reception staff inside Trafford House shows a male unscrewing the bolts securing the bike rack to the pavement and stealing the bike.

It is the fifth bike to have been stolen from the site in the last few months.

There is CCTV footage of a different group of males attempting to steal a different bike on the same evening.

Dave Masters, 35 the owner of the stolen bike is “frustrated” with the situation as the bike was very expensive.

He believes the situation could have been easily avoided if the bike racks had been cemented into the ground rather than just screwed down, making it easier for thieves to get away with the bikes.

He said: “Trafford House is aware of the situation but have failed to report it to residents.

“There are still another 15 bikes locked up down there and I am concerned about just how secure they are at present.

“The police have seen the original footage from that night and were unable to identify anyone.

“There is more CCTV in reception for them to review, this time you can actually see him unscrewing the rack.

“The bikes are sitting ducks, its another example of Trafford House cutting corners.

“They installed cheap bike racks that should have been cemented into the ground, and word has clearly got around among the criminal fraternity.”

Mr Masters is concerned that the police don’t seem to be able to do anything with the case despite the evidence.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Police received a call at 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 26, about the theft of a bike in Cherrydown East, Basildon.

The victim, a man aged in his 30s, reported that his black Canondale bicycle had been stolen between 11am on Sunday, September 24, and 6.30pm on Tuesday, September 26.”

Last month, Kerry Smith, chairman of Basildon Council’s housing and community committee, arranged a series of public meeting to hear residents’ community safety concerns and to share crime prevention tips.

The news also comes as work begins repair and rejuvenate the area directly outside Trafford House begins.

Anyone with information regarding the bike thefts is asked to call Basildon police station on 101 or you can report crimes anonymously to the crime fighting charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Alternatively you can visit crimestoppers-uk.org to fill in an online form.