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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
Boy accused of stealing own bike
A 16-year-old moped rider spent three hours in police custody on suspicion of stealing his own bike.

Simon Sharmar, from Bridgwater in Somerset, was riding home from college when he was pulled over for speeding.

When police checked his name against the number plate of his machine, the two did not match.

A police spokesman said there were inaccuracies in records submitted to the DVLA that gave "genuine cause for suspicion on the officer's part".

Police regret

Simon said: "I didn't really know what to think. I knew [the bike] was mine but he kept saying it wasn't.

"They took my shoe print, fingerprint and put me in jail for three hours. It was strange. It wasn't very nice."

Inspector Nic Crocker said that within two hours they had contacted Simon's parents and the shop where the bike was bought and had established it was not stolen.

"We regret that a young person was in detention for a relatively short period when he had committed no offence," he said.

He added that there had been a sharp increase in the number of mopeds being stolen.

Earlier this year, the Avon and Somerset force were criticised by another teenager, who claimed officers in Bath refused to chase joyriders who stole his moped because they were not wearing helmets.

Max Foster, 18, said he was told by a police officer they could not give chase in case the unprotected thieves fell off the bike and sued the police.

But within minutes of the incident being reported police say four other units were dispatched to search for the stolen moped.

Police ruled out joyrider chase
30 Jun 06 |  Gloucestershire
Owners warned after moped thefts
29 Apr 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
Moped crime op leads to arrests
06 Mar 06 |  Bristol/Somerset

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