THE family of a teenager whose bike was stolen has called for a crackdown on cycle thefts in Oxford after the thief escaped justice.

Adam Pinner’s “pride and joy” was taken from the grounds of Cherwell School on March 3, with the perpetrator caught on CCTV and identified by police.

The defendant pleaded not guilty and the case was due to be heard at Oxford Magistrates’ Court tomorrow, but it was dropped last week because the footage was “too grainy”.

The 14-year-old had owned the bike for just a fortnight after saving up £550 and is “devastated”, according to his mother, Yvonne.

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And the mum-of-two feels the case shows why Oxford boasts the highest rate of cycle thefts in the UK.

She said: “The saddest part from a parental perspective was Adam’s initial reaction.

“He said ‘mum, I never thought I was going to get any compensation – I just wanted to stop it happening to someone else’.

“It’s absolutely no wonder that we’ve got an epidemic of bike thefts in Oxford.

“It sends out completely the wrong message about what will happen if you steal a bike.”

The Summertown resident has fallen victim to a similar crime within the last year, after the wheels of her bike were removed while she was at work at the Oxfordshire Community Foundation.

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Oxford had the highest proportion of bike thefts in Britain in 2018/19, with 2,050 incidents documented – one for every 81 people.

The family claims the brazen act shows the scale of the problem, as Adam’s bike was double-locked and taken while the Year 9 pupil was in lessons.

This sense of frustration was reinforced when they were informed on Saturday that the case had been dropped.

An email from Thames Valley Police explained that the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) prosecutor had “deemed the footage and the image it provides as insufficient to ID the suspect for the purposes of court”.

The email continued: “We have had several officers look at the footage to get a positive ID match on the defendant (who is known to us) but unfortunately the footage is too grainy to stand up in court.”

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The family’s frustrations lie with the CPS rather than the force, but dad Marc fears the case sets a worrying precedent.

He said: “We’re talking about a 14-year-old kid who built up the money to buy a new bike and lost it after riding it to school three times.

“It’s crazy that someone could go around nicking bikes clear as day.

“How do you explain to your 14-year-old son that crime doesn’t pay?”

The marketing consultant also called for bike owners across the city to be more vigilant to help expose the thieves.

He added: “Communities can be more aware. We must be living next to these thieves and seeing this activity going on.”

A CPS spokesperson said: “We are currently reviewing this case to determine whether our legal test for a prosecution is met.”