Three masked men armed with machetes attacked a cyclist, stealing his bike and phone, and threatened a passer-by earlier this week in the second violent bikejacking incident to occur in Bristol in less than a month.
The victim was cycling on a busy riverside path in the St Anne’s area of Bristol, behind the Co-op shop on Wyatts View, on Tuesday afternoon at around 4.50pm, when a masked man stepped out in front of him, grabbing his handlebars and demanding his bike, BristolLive reports.
According to Avon and Somerset Police, when the cyclist refused to hand over the Carrera Vengeance mountain bike, the mugger pulled out a large knife or machete and threatened him.
After offering up the bike, the cyclist was then approached and surrounded by two other men armed with knives, as the first attacker again threatened him, this time for his phone. The mugger punched and struck the cyclist in the face with the handle of one of the knives, before taking his phone.
A passer-by, who was walking her dog on the riverside path at the time of the mugging, was also threatened by the three men, who then fled the scene.
> Cyclist threatened with "foot-long knife" during latest south London bike robbery
The dog walker and other witnesses helped the injured cyclist, taking him to a nearby pharmacy. He was treated by paramedics for cuts and bruises, but was not taken to hospital.
The victim told police that he believes that all three suspects are in their late teens and that they were wearing dark-coloured tracksuits and balaclavas. The first man was described as just under six foot tall, slim, and of mixed ethnicity, while the other two thieves are thought to be around five foot eight, slim, and white.
Officers, including a police dog handler, searched the area following the mugging but could find no trace of the suspects.
A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “Detectives are keen to hear from anyone who was on the path at around that time, especially two other dog walkers, both men, who left before officers arrived.
“They are also keen to hear from anyone who has dashcam, doorbell or helmet camera footage which could help, or also anyone who has found or seen the stolen yellow Carrera Vengeance bicycle or black Apple iPhone 13.”
Anyone with information related to the incident has been asked to call 101, providing the reference 5222303422. Alternatively, witnesses can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 101, or through the charity’s website.
> Police warning after attempted bikejacking on Bristol cycle path
This latest shocking bikejacking attempt in Bristol comes less than a month after a group of youths, believed to be aged between 12 and 16, attempted to rob a woman of her bike and handbag on a cycle path close to Filton Abbey Wood railway station, to the north of the city.
The incident happened at around 6.15pm on Monday 28 November as the victim was riding her bike in the direction of Abbey Wood, close to the bridge over the railway line.
The youths approached the woman, before two of them attempted to grab her bike and snatch her bag. The victim, who was unhurt, shouted and screamed and was able to ride off as the youths fled empty-handed.
> “Deeply concerned” British Cycling steps in following spate of violent bikejackings across south London
Violent bike thefts have become a worryingly common occurrence over the past year. In July, British Cycling said it was “deeply concerned” by the rise in bikejackings across south London and other areas, with policy manager Nick Chamberlin publishing a response to outline the issue, telling members to “think carefully about the rides they have planned”.
Chamberlin said: “We have heard from lots of clubs and individuals who are rightly very concerned about going out for a ride. It is extremely hard to discuss these sorts of issues without causing panic and the last thing any of us would wish is to deter people from cycling this summer through a fear of being attacked.
“The sad reality however is that when these spikes in violent crime occur, and while we try to understand the pattern of incidents better, it is prudent for individuals, clubs, and groups to discuss these concerns together and think carefully about the rides they have planned.
“As with the incidents that occurred in Richmond Park last year, we know that by working together as a cycling community to quickly pass relevant information to the police we can support them to quickly and effectively tackle the issue.”
> Lone female cyclists are “being targeted”, says former Scottish champion
With the rise in bikejacking incidents showing few signs of abating, British Cycling has advised that members in affected areas should plan rides and events carefully, be mindful of privacy settings on devices, and contact the governing body’s incident helpline as well as the police to report incidents and/or threatening behaviour.
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