A frightened 15-year-old boy summed up the courage to take a photo of the man who threatened him with a knife before stealing his bike.
But it was only the next day when the boy saw the man again in Peterborough city centre and it led to the thief’s arrest.
DC Ieuan Friend said: “To steal a bike from a child really is a callous and cowardly crime.
“I’d like to commend the victim for his quick thinking in following Daniel Cowlbeck at a safe distance. This contributed to us identifying him and bringing him to justice.”
Cowlbeck, 34, approached the boy as he was cycling along London Road, in Peterborough, close to Sherwood Avenue at about 8.30am on 7 June.
Cowlbeck grabbed the handlebars of the bike, repeatedly shouted at the victim to get off, telling him that he had a knife.
Frightened, the boy complied, but took a photo of Cowlbeck as he rode off.
The following day the victim spotted Cowlbeck in Broadway, Peterborough, and followed him into Queensgate.
Cowlbeck got away, but he was identified by officers from CCTV footage in the shopping centre.
Cowlbeck, of no known address, was arrested and later admitted robbery.
The bike was never recovered.
On Monday last week (31 July) at Peterborough Crown Court he was jailed for three years and four months.
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