Having your bicycle stolen is bad enough, but imagine then spotting the thief with your bike just hours later — outside a police station of all places — and being assaulted when you confront them...
> This story has now been updated: read more here
That's the grim reality of one road.cc reader's bike theft nightmare which started in the early hours of Wednesday 31 August when the bicycle storage facility at her Harbourside apartment building, in Bristol, was broken into and anything unlocked — lights, pumps, wheels and other gear — was taken.
> Police failed to catch a bike thief in 87% of affected neighbourhoods in past three years
A neighbour's "deathtrap Trek" with seized wheels was left unlocked and the thief, or thieves, used one of the road.cc reader's Bianchi's wheels to get it rolling, opting against fitting the rear wheel too.
After the Harbourside security office refused to release the CCTV footage ("with the excuse of data protection") the reader found the bike, and her wheel, on Clare Street at 11am and returned it to the building.
However: "On Thursday morning at 10.30 am, I discovered that the thieves had returned with an angle grinder and stolen anything that looked flashy," she explained.
"Three of my bikes — Whyte Victoria 2012 with a dent on the top tube, Boardman Comp Fi 2014, Bianchi Via Nirone 7 2017 —) and MTBs and gravel bikes were taken.
"After surveying the damage, I made my way to the police station to make a report. At 11 am I saw the thief with my Bianchi... in front of the police station. I confronted the thief and assertively took my bike back as I assumed he'd be stunned by my confrontation and give up.
> Inside the mind of a bike thief — learn how to protect your bike
"He wouldn't let it go, yanked it and shoved me. A woman and her son passing by were witnesses. We flagged down a passing police officer and he took off on foot to look for the thief with just the description of my Bianchi. I later found another witness on the Bristol Cyclists page who was driving by. Unfortunately, no one could remember the appearance of the thief."
The thief was with two men who, the next day, the road.cc reader spotted one of in a larger group while walking through Broadmead. They had two more "presumably stolen bikes that I didn't recognise as they" were not from the Harbourside building.
"His mates brazenly waved at me to come closer to take a photo. I tried to look for police officers in the area but couldn't find any," she continued.
"The city centre police station is shut for renovation so I walked all the way to Trinity Road police station. I wanted to make a separate report for assault as advised on Bristol Cyclists. They found my initial report categorised as burglary and re-categorised it as assault.
"At 4.30pm, I received a welfare phone call from the police control room. I said I was physically fine and they said officers will be in touch with me again. At 5pm I finally found police officers patrolling on College Green.
"They advised me that I can call 999 and police officers can confront the accomplices, and reassured me it wouldn't be a waste of time. Unfortunately, by 5.30pm the accomplice was no longer at Broadmead."
The road.cc reader, and other residents, have not been reunited with their stolen bikes and nobody has been caught for the double break-in.
Most aero bar of all time but it's not available in a 360 mm width version.
Well, I thought it was large hands and a medium head, but the helmet manufacturer disagreed
This needs repeating more often! Most would be driven safely and the ones driven dangerously would eventually take care of the problem for us.
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