THIS is the moment a “sneaky rat” thief was caught on camera lurking outside a newsagents before stealing a 14-year-old boy’s £1,000 mountain bike.

Kenny Dorrell, of Leigh, gets up at 6.30am seven days a week to do his newspaper round in order to pay for the expensive Giant Stance bike.

He left it outside the shop in Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, when he and his friends went in to buy sweets after playing in the park at about 6.30pm on November 1.

Mum Clair, 34, said she feels disheartened for her son- who now does his round on foot because he still has to pay for the bike.

She said: “He’s 14 years old and somebody who doesn’t even work just comes along and feels it’s alright to just take it. It isn’t fair.

“He was a sneaky rat and knew he was stealing from a child.”

The thief is thought to have followed the boys on foot from the park, having clocked the high value of the green and black bike.

He can be seen on the footage approaching the shop with a cigarette in his mouth and hiding in the shadows as the boys pick out their treats.

He then checks their backs are turned before jumping on the Belfairs Academy pupil’s bike and pedalling away.

Miss Dorrell tried to track the bike down the next day and visited valuers and clearance buyers Chapel and Chapel in London Road, Westcliff, to see if anyone had tried to sell the bike.

She said while she was in the shop the man she believes stole it walked in- with another stolen bike.

She said: “I gave a nod to the staff that this was the man. They check to see if they have been stolen and they said they had him in earlier that morning.

“They tried to stall him with the bike and said they were just doing a few checks on it.

“I went outside and phoned the police and said we have got him here right now with a stolen bike, but they said they couldn’t get anyone there. It’s so frustrating.”

The man is thought to be behind a string of bike thefts, including one from outside Chase High School in Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff, at 5.30pm on October 15.

Police released CCTV images of the man but nobody has yet been arrested.

Anyone with information should call Essex Police on 101.