Retiree staged electric bike theft to claim insurance money


A retiree organized the theft of his electric bicycle so he could fraudulently claim the cost of his home insurance.

John Collins (71) was caught when he was seen on CCTV removing the bike from where he was locked up.

Adjourning the case, Judge Bryan Smyth said he would leave Collins without a criminal record if he paid compensation for the false insurance claim of € 1,425.

Collins, of St Pappin’s Road, Glasnevin, Dublin, pleaded guilty to dishonest gain by deception.

Guard Sergeant Michelle Lynch told Dublin District Court the accused reported the theft of an electric bicycle on November 2 last year.

He told Aviva Insurance that he wanted to make a claim for the loss of the bike on his home insurance policy and he was paid.

During the investigation, however, Collins was seen on CCTV walking back to where he had parked the bike and removing it himself.

He was seen leaving the scene with his own property.

The accused admitted to falsely claiming his insurance and falsely reporting the theft of the bicycle, said Sgt Lynch. He had no previous convictions.

Collins had worked his entire life and was now retired, his lawyer Claire Finnegan said.

At the time of the incident, he was taking medication that left him prone to acting impulsively and “completely out of his character,” she said.

A letter was presented to the court outlining the effect the drug was having on him. Collins was willing to pay compensation but would need time to get the money, Ms Finnegan said.

Justice Smyth asked if the money he got from the claim had been spent. The court heard he had spent the money to fix a flood in his kitchen.

The court also heard that by the time he went to pick up his bicycle, it was “actually stolen”.

The judge returned the accused on bail until March for payment of compensation.

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