No helmet motorbike theft suspect killed in Manchester
A man killed in a motorbike crash in south Manchester was a suspected thief who police previously refused to pursue because he was not wearing a helmet.
Bobby Carl Hodgkins was one of two men held after the raid on a showroom in Altrincham last month.
Officers saw the thieves escaping but were told not to pursue - because they were not wearing helmets.
Mr Hodgkins died after a Kawasaki 450 he was riding collided with a van on Saturday. He was not wearing a helmet.
The 24-year-old suffered head injuries in the crash on Greenbrow Road, Wythenshawe, and died in hospital later.
The motorbike had been stolen during a burglary in Audenshaw on 26 August.
Mr Hodgkins, from Wythenshawe, had been due to answer bail on 10 September over the Altrincham theft.
Greater Manchester Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash which killed him.
In a statement, his family said: "Bobby was a loving and loyal son who would do anything for his family. He will continually shine in our hearts forever."
During the raid at the Manchester Motorbike Store on 12 August, officers spotted the criminals fleeing on a Yamaha R1, a Honda 1000 Fireblade and a Honda CBR 600.
They sought guidance from a senior officer but were told not to pursue the thieves, which was in line with national policy.
Instead they watched as three people rode off on the bikes worth £17,000.
At the time, Greater Manchester Police said it followed a nationwide policy that motorbikes should not be pursued because of the higher risk of injury to the rider.
"The officers were asked not to pursue the suspects, as they were not wearing the correct safety equipment and were not wearing helmets," Supt Steve Nibloe said.