A 13-year-old boy was threatened with a machete, and told to hand over his mountain bike or “I will stab”, in a shocking bike theft in Merseyside earlier this week.
The boy was riding his bike with his 12-year-old brother and a group of friends in Storeton Woods in Bebington on Tuesday 1 August, at around 5pm, when they were approached by two other teenagers, believed to be around 16 and described by the boys’ father as “adult-sized”.
The older boys, described as 16-year-old white males wearing tracksuits believed to be from the Monitrex brand and riding green and white electrics bike themselves, then threatened the boys with a machete before stealing the 13-year-old’s mountain bike, a Specialized Status 140.
“They said ‘hello’ and a couple of minutes later they came back with one on foot,” the boys’ father, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Liverpool Echo. “They had stashed the other bike which police later found. Then they went up to [the 13-year-old].”
The thieves then allegedly approached the schoolboy and said, “give me your bike or I will stab”, before flashing his waistband to reveal a machete.
“He gave his bike up and then they told him ‘do not try and follow us or we will cut you up’,” the dad said, adding that the 13-year-old then rang his mum, leading the parents to drive around the area looking for the culprits, which they believe rode off towards the Prenton area.
“He rang his mum and the police have been brilliant. His brother is more cut up about it, and has been more affected by it. He’s been very clingy,” he said.
The dad added the 13-year-old had only owned the grey, medium-sized Specialised Status 140 for two months and that the bike was “his pride and joy”. He said he wanted to make other people aware of the threat of machete-related bike thefts as other children might not be as “clued up” as his son to hand the bike over.
In a statement, Merseyside Police’s Detective Inspector David Sung said: “This was a frightening incident for the young victims to experience.
“I urge anyone who was in the vicinity at around 5pm yesterday and may have noticed something suspicious to please contact us so we can bring the offenders to justice.
“In addition, if you saw the two males matching the description, or may have captured them on your CCTV and dashcam footage in the area to please get in touch as any information no matter how small, could be vital to the investigation and get them brough to justice.”
He continued: “We are absolutely committed to targeting those who bring misery to our communities and getting knives and offensive weapons off our streets.
“The Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) began in April this year to tackle serious violence and knife crime and violent offending. The order gives police officers the power to stop and search a person to look for knives or offensive weapons. Knives and other offensive weapons have no place on our streets. These orders give police the power to stop criminals in their tracks and protect communities from harm.”
Merseyside Police added that local officers are holding events across Merseyside encouraging people to register their bikes so that they can be more easily identified in the case of theft.
Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the police using @MerPolCC on Twitter, ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook, or by ringing 101 with reference 23000699883.
As we have seen in recent months on road.cc, bikejackings involving machetes are becoming increasingly common.
In May, an 11-year-old boy was left terrified when a masked man threatened him with a machete and robbed his bicycle in broad daylight, while he was playing in a park in Grimsby. The boy had been playing in a park on Cope Street opposite the Oxford Street flats and had just unlocked his bike when he felt a man approach him from behind.
The man, thought to be in his twenties, was wearing a skeleton snood and asked the boy to get off his bike. After the boy pleaded with him to not take his bike, the man pulled out a machete and threatened him that he would use it if he did not comply.
Just a few weeks before, four teenagers were arrested after a 20-year-old cyclist was attacked and had his bike taken in a violent ambush in broad daylight in a park just north of Birmingham.
The cyclist was left with broken fingers and a swollen face – after being struck by a metal bar – following the terrifying bikejacking, which took place near Blackroot Pool in Sutton Park, a large nature reserve six miles outside Birmingham.
And in April, a teenager who committed a series of violent bikejackings in London in October 2021, including one in which he knocked then-Alpecin-Fenix pro Alexandar Richardson off his bike using a moped in Richmond Park, before dragging him along for 100 metres and threatening him with a machete, was sentenced to 12 months, six of which will be spent on licence.
The bikejacker, who also carried out two further attacks before he was caught, was arrested after walking into a café where officers, working on the case and planning on how to locate him, were having breakfast.
He admitted two counts of moped-enabled robbery, one count of attempted robbery, and possession of criminal property and was sentenced to 12 months, including six months in prison and six months on licence.
Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.