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Man whose stolen bike was for sale on Gumtree was told by police to go and meet the seller himself

Theft victim was then given very different advice by the Met’s dedicated Cycle Safety Team

A Londoner who found his stolen bike for sale on Gumtree was told by a police officer to meet the seller himself and “see what happens.” He subsequently got in contact with the Met’s dedicated Cycle Safety Team, who advised him not to do that.

At some point during Friday night the cyclist, who has asked to remain anonymous, had two bikes stolen from his home in Hackney: a black and blue Orbea road bike and a black Fuji single speed.

He discovered they had gone in the morning and almost immediately found the Orbea for sale on Gumtree.

It was a bike he’d got while working in Australia in 2014.

“I went on some really nice long rides around Sydney,” he told us. “When I left, it was a souvenir of my time spent Down Under – lots of good memories.”

The ad was later taken down – it is not clear whether by the seller or by Gumtree. Either way, he had the presence of mind to take screenshots of it.

He reported both the thefts and the ad to police, but was told to go and meet the seller himself and to call them if anything happened.

He subsequently contacted the Met’s Cycle Safety Team who advised him against meeting the seller for safety reasons.

The Orbea is a 49cm frame with a custom headset and handlebars. It has scratches on the top tube and an identifier on it to say that it came from Australia. Its serial number is TF01007481.

The Fuji has custom short handlebars, a big rip on the side of the saddle and a carbon seat post. The cyclist says you cannot adjust the seat height.

Earlier this week, a man who tried to sell an NHS worker’s bike on Gumtree was jailed for 32 weeks and fined £200 after the victim’s neighbour, the broadcaster Jeremy Vine, posted a video to Twitter about her situation.

Met officers had initially told the bike’s owner, a mental health nurse named Joey, that they would be unable to proceed with investigating the theft because the amateur detective work that she and her partner had done in tracking down the person trying to sell it would prejudice the case.

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, the Metropolitan Police Service’s Vision Zero lead on road safety, offered to look into the matter personally, resulting in a man being convicted after pleading guilty.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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quiff | 3 years ago

I had a similarly depressing experience a few years ago. In my case, it was the Met's Cycle Team who actually found my stolen bike listed on Gumtree, but they then advised me 'unofficially' that if I wanted to see it again, my best bet was to meet the seller and then call the police when I had hands on the bike. I tried calling them, the seller got spooked and hung up on me, and I then watched my bike get broken up for parts on Gumtree. Not sure if I would have had the guts to go and meet them to be honest.    

ajft | 3 years ago

Glad to see its not just Aussie police who lie and do anything they can to avoid having to deal with bike theft

sparrowlegs | 3 years ago

There must be fewer people in the streets committing crime at the moment surely? You'd think they be all over something like this. 

The police in this country are a joke. A bunch of leaderless cowards to hell bent on catching internet trolls than doing real police work. 


David9694 replied to sparrowlegs | 3 years ago
1 like

Watched the news much this weekend? 

the internet must be like being given a whole additional country to police - with no extra resources. 

David9694 | 3 years ago
1 like

presumably it's not their policy level of resource etc to actively investigate individual thefts of bikes. Welcome to austerity policing  - depressing, huh?

However, " did you see the attacker madam?"

"he had a leather jacket on and ran off towards the High Street"

"oh, sorry we can't do anything if you're giving us clues"

Rick_Rude replied to David9694 | 3 years ago
1 like

British police are now a meme.

Hirsute | 3 years ago

Do you have to be particularly thick to be a police officer?


ex_terra replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago

Ideally woke and thick if you aspire to a leadership position.

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