A BIKE thief was discovered after posting classified adverts for the cycles he stole on a website.

Nikita Panfilov, 21, of The Avenue, Loughton, stole eight cycles from outside Epping, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill Underground stations between July and September.

Sergeant Martin Grayton, of the British Transport Police, said: “As part of our investigation, we seized footage from CCTV security cameras at each station and were able to pinpoint the same man as being present at the time of each offence.

“We then got our next major lead by monitoring a popular classified ads website where we found three different bikes, each matching the descriptions of those taken.”

Police traced Panfilov’s details through the website and searched his home, where they found bolt cutters and damaged bike locks.

He admitted eight counts of theft and was handed a six month prison sentence, suspended for a year, fined £2,419 and ordered to do 120 hours of community service at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on October 31.