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Shocking footage shows masked men attempting to steal cyclist’s bike after forcing him off the road with SUV

The bike thieves reportedly followed the cyclist for miles before the attack, and were eventually thwarted by a shovel-brandishing homeowner who rushed to the victim’s aid

Police have appealed for witnesses after shocking footage emerged of a cyclist being assaulted by two masked men in broad daylight who attempted – and ultimately failed – to steal his bike after forcing him off the road with a SUV in what appears to be a targeted bikejacking attack.

The attempted robbery took place yesterday morning, at around 9.30am, in the small Worcestershire village of Hopwood, just south of Birmingham. According to West Mercia Police, the cyclist was followed by the occupants of a dark-coloured SUV for around four miles along the A441, from Wast Hills to Hopwood.

As footage captured by a camera belonging to a house on the Birmingham Road, and obtained by B31 Voices, shows, the cyclist eventually pulls into a driveway, where he is cornered by the thieves after the SUV’s driver slams on the brakes, bringing the car to a screeching halt.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by B31 Voices (@b31voices)

The balaclava-sporting thieves then push the cyclist to the ground, with one shouting “give me your bike”, and attempt to wrestle the bike from him, amidst a cacophony of blaring car horns from startled onlookers.

However, with the cyclist managing to keep hold of his bike during the struggle, the thieves eventually flee as the homeowner, brandishing a shovel, and another motorist begin to rush to the cyclist’s aid. The driver of the SUV then speeds off, overtaking another car and accelerating towards oncoming traffic in the process.

Masked men attempt to steal cyclist's bike after forcing him off road in SUV (B31 Voices)

West Mercia Police say the cyclist did not suffer any serious injuries in the attack.

Anyone with information about the attempted theft is asked to contact West Mercia Police on 101 quoting crime number ‘1031023’. Alternatively, witnesses can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

> Cyclist threatened by moped-riding thieves in latest bikejacking attempt

The shocking attack in Worcestershire is the latest in an increasingly long line of bikejacking attempts by thieves targeting cyclists on UK roads.

In August, a Kent cyclist raised the alarm about bikejackings in the area, sharing video footage of two moped-riding attackers forcing him off the road in a frightening incident on a busy road.

Bikejacking attempt suspects (Image supplied)

Peter Roper sent road.cc the video of the attempted bikejacking which happened on the A25 in Brasted, while he was riding his Trek e-bike. The cyclist said he saw a moped pass in the opposite direction, shortly before the rider and passenger pulled alongside to threaten him with a knife and push him off the road.

Fortunately, Peter was able to mount the pavement due to the dropped kerb, ending the attack.

In the most high-profile bikejacking incident in recent years, in autumn 2021 professional cyclist Alexandar Richardson was knocked off his bike, dragged for 100 metres by muggers on motorbikes, and threatened with a machete during a shocking attack in Richmond Park.

In April, a teenager, aged 15 when Richardson was attacked, was jailed for 12 months for the bikejacking.

Another professional cyclist, former Scottish champion Jennifer George, said last year that she no longer rides alone after she was similarly attacked by two people on a motorbike during a long ride from her home in southeast London out to Surrey.

> What can be done about the latest spate of bikejackings?

Last summer, a member of Penge Cycling Club narrowly escaped a robbery attempt near West Wickham, around five miles west of Orpington, during which the rider was told he would be stabbed if he did not give up his 2022 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7.

Another incident saw a Trek Domane SL6 and Wilier GTR forcefully taken by a group, described as “youths on mopeds” by one victim and “four males on mopeds” by the other.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said he believes criminals are attracted towards stealing high-end bikes because the potential money to be made from selling them on far outweighs the chances of getting caught.

“It is possibly perceived as a low-risk crime if the numbers of people being caught are so low,” he explained. “It may be seen as a high-reward, low-risk crime.

“Somebody has posted on Strava what they are doing on their ride. The criminals will know it is someone on a £3,000 to £4,000 carbon fibre bike who has unwittingly signposted the fact that they are likely to be heading out to Kent or the Surrey Hills. It is on the police’s radar.”

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.

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16 comments

Avatar
Brauchsel | 9 months ago
0 likes

"Somebody has posted on Strava what they are doing on their ride. The criminals will know it is someone on a £3,000 to £4,000 carbon fibre bike who has unwittingly signposted the fact that they are likely to be heading out to Kent or the Surrey Hills."

Is this likely? I've heard it suggested before, but it doesn't seem so. Rides are, rather obviously, only posted after they've happened. The criminals would need to be scrolling through Strava, looking for someone with an expensive bike (either in photos or through the name they've put on it, neither of which can be filtered on), then hoping that they'd do a very similar ride at a very similar time the next day/week. 

It would seem easier for them to just get on their mopeds, ride out from their homes (the ones I've seen were off Layhams Road close to Brasted, Beddlestead etc), and keep an eye out for lone riders, especially older/female ones, on expensive bikes. 

On that hypothesis, it would be fairly easy to stick Plod on an SL7 and send him/her out for a spin to see who takes notice. I guess it's easier to make something up that puts the blame on the victim though. 

Avatar
Trevor Anderson | 9 months ago
2 likes

Sickening, truly sickening!

I do know that British Cycling and Cycling UK are still in discussions with Police in SE London/Kent/Surrey earlier this year, and it has been over a year since BC issued their "DO NOT CYCLE ALONE" advice, due to the risks of these types of attacks in this region.

As a result of my experiences cycling in this area I have now stopped road cycling, except for essential journeys.

The very depressing reality is this situation is very unlikely to change in the forseeable future.

Avatar
HLaB replied to Trevor Anderson | 9 months ago
2 likes

My commute circles were taking me closer and closer to north London (I only ride an 8yo Kinesis T2) but these stories deppresingly, along with the manic rat running traffic, made me reconsider these non essential loops to bag OS tiles  7

Avatar
Cugel replied to Trevor Anderson | 9 months ago
2 likes
Trevor Anderson wrote:

As a result of my experiences cycling in this area I have now stopped road cycling, except for essential journeys.

The very depressing reality is this situation is very unlikely to change in the forseeable future.

Blighty is a broken State, run by the party of Flaw & Disorder. They set the example to all the other spivs, with their theiving and corruptions. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. (But don't attempt to rob one of The Establishment .... or even complain about their larcenies and slowly-applied violence upon their many victms, or you'll be fast-tracked to the truncheon and a prison rape-parlour).

Crime and modern business behaviours have gradually been moving towards each other for decades now. Such thefts and associated violence are just a simplified and speeded up version of the sort of "entrepreneurial" activities pursued by all manner of businesses, as they seek most profit for least effort and let the exploited suckers go to the wall.

Blunt instruments employed include denying you benefits, posioning your with sewage and killing you with a mouldy flat. There are plenty of other slow violence techniques for obtaining your last few shillings! 

For details, see endless USA movies in which gimlet-eyed chancers steal stuff using guns & blunt instruments (including badly driven cars) whilst giving the finger to both their victims (who are just suckers deserving it) and to law enforcement (which is busy with its own corruptions).

What a state the Toryspiv and simialr have made!

Avatar
HoarseMann | 9 months ago
7 likes

Bit weird they followed the cyclist for 4 miles. That would have sent alarm bells ringing for me and I would have been looking for an off-road option.

I had a very strange experience some months ago where a driver made an odd U-turn, overtook me a bit too carefully, like they were eyeing me up, then pulled into a car park. Knowing the area well, I cycled into the car park, right up to them to get them on camera, then shot off down a well surfaced bridleway that is not accessible to cars.

I looked back to see them exiting the car park. This vehicle I had reported for a close pass some years previous, which is what made me a little wary. Video footage has been archived in case it happens again.

Avatar
Car Delenda Est | 9 months ago
15 likes

Shovel lady is a hero

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PRSboy replied to Car Delenda Est | 9 months ago
8 likes

She looked like she meant business.  Kudos also to the TT driver, who tried to get their car in the way of the VW to slow their escape.

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Dnnnnnn | 9 months ago
15 likes

Appalling - but thanks due to those who came to his aid.

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a1white replied to Dnnnnnn | 9 months ago
0 likes

Yes, that is heartening at least. At least 2 car drivers stopping to help and of course the hero woman with the spade.

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Safety | 9 months ago
7 likes

Why wouldn't the thieves do this? The police and government have effectively decriminalized bike theft.

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chrisonabike replied to Safety | 9 months ago
3 likes
Safety wrote:

Why wouldn't the thieves do this? The police and government have effectively decriminalized bike theft.

FTFY.  Although if you steal someone's "good name" then the UK legal system probably has time for it; rank and status dependent of course...

Avatar
eburtthebike replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
11 likes
chrisonatrike wrote:
Safety wrote:

Why wouldn't the thieves do this? The police and government have effectively decriminalized bike theft.

FTFY.  Although if you steal someone's "good name" then the UK legal system probably has time for it; rank and status dependent of course...

But they have the resources to prosecute a woman holding up a placard telling jurors their rights.

Avatar
Glov Zaroff | 9 months ago
6 likes

'dark coloured SUV' - are you not allowed to write VW Tiguan? 

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HoarseMann replied to Glov Zaroff | 9 months ago
6 likes
Glov Zaroff wrote:

'dark coloured SUV' - are you not allowed to write VW Tiguan? 

A VW Tiguan Allspace I reckon:
https://www.whatcar.com/volkswagen/tiguan-allspace/estate/15-tsi-r-line-...

(the Allspace 7-seater has a distinctive 45 degree angle to the rear quarter glass and the R-line has the five spoke wheels, chrome window/bumper trim, edit: just seen there are other models with this trim)

Example of a similar looking vehicle here.

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bikes replied to HoarseMann | 9 months ago
0 likes

Would the bike have fitted in the boot without putting the back seats down? I see both men got out of the back of the car.

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kil0ran replied to bikes | 9 months ago
1 like

Nope. You need a Volvo 940 for that. Biggest issue there is that you'll likely be able to outsprint it with even a low level of fitness.

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