A MAN has been captured on CCTV stealing a bike from outside a convenience store - after peering in the window to check that nobody was watching him.

Cameras positioned outside Day One Kiln, in Kiln Road, Benfleet, captured footage of a man walking across the road, up to the shop front and peering inside before walking off with a mountain bike.

The bike, which wasn’t locked up, was leaning against the railings outside the front of the shop, while its owner Olly Staines, 12, was inside.

Olly’s mum Catherine, 48, of Highfield Avenue, Hadleigh, said: “He only went inside to get a drink and stupidly didn’t lock up his bike.

“The CCTV is quite long so you can see the man walk across the road and look around for any passersby. He obviously saw my son pull up and not lock his bike."

Olly pulled up to the shop with his friend who initially waited with the bikes until he went inside himself.

Once Olly had realised his bike was gone, he went back into the shop and told the owners who took down his parent’s details.

The shop owners called them the next day to view the CCTV footage.

Mrs Staines said: “They were very helpful. He took my details and called the following day so my husband went down to check it.

“Olly was gutted, he’s only twelve and he’d only just got the bike from his brother. He took a chance by not locking it and now it’s come back to bite him.”

The bike was a Scott voltage YZ40, which is sold brand new for about £400.

Mrs Staines added: “The shop owners didn’t recognise the man, he’s not a regular. As far as were aware, he must have been travelling on foot because he doesn’t seem to get out of a car which means he shouldn’t live too far.”

So far, there have been no arrests made but police are investigating the incident.

Mrs Staines said there are often bikes found in the woodland area near where she lives.

She said: “Bikes are always turn up in the woods.

“The bike has obviously gone but I would like to find the man who stole it.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are investigating the theft of a bike in Benfleet and are releasing a CCTV image of a man we’d like to speak to.

“A white, Scott-branded, mountain bike was stolen from outside the Day One Kiln convenience store in Kiln Road on Sunday, October 1.

“CCTV footage shows a man taking the bike from outside the store, shortly before 3pm.

“Anyone who recognises the man or has been approached about buying a white mountain bike and are suspicious of where it has come from, is asked to contact Rayleigh police station on 101. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously.”