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Female cyclist held down and bike stolen during frightening attack

Cycling club warns of moped gang "mostly targeting women cycling alone" following a number of incidents...

Cyclists in Surrey and south London are being warned of multiple reports of a moped gang seemingly targeting lone female cyclists after a rider was held down and had their bike stolen during an attack on Sunday.

The female rider was sat on Beddlestead Lane, near Warlingham in Surrey, when she was approached by two men on a scooter.

Surrey Police say the incident, which happened between 1.40pm and 2.15pm, saw the victim held to the ground while the offenders made off with her bike down Clarkes Lane.

One of the men was described as white, around 5ft tall and aged between 25 and 40. He was wearing a helmet with the visor up and a dark-coloured biker jacket.

South London cycling club Dulwich Paragon has warned riders to take care following a separate attack on a club member, and said they had been made aware of "a number of incidents involving cyclists on the club run route being threatened or attacked by people on motorbikes or mopeds".

The junction of Clarks Lane and Beddlestead Lane appears to be a hotspot for incidents, with a female Dulwich Paragon member managing to flee to Botley Hill Cafe "unharmed but very shaken".

"It seems clear that the criminals are mostly targeting women cycling alone," a communication to club members read. "So if either of those applies to you, we urge you to be vigilant or consider riding different roads until there are signs the police have got on top of the situation.

"For now there is no intention of diverting the club run, but it underlines the importance of keeping groups together throughout the route — especially groups with women. Let's look out for each other and stay safe out there."

The roads around Warlingham are popular with cyclists based in the capital making their way out to the hills of Surrey and Kent. 

In October, professional cyclist Alexander Richardson was knocked off his bike and threatened by a gang with a machete in Richmond Park, in south west London.

At the time, the then-Alpecin Fenix rider said the attacks were "becoming a common occurrence in parts of London", with the gang taking his team-issue Canyon Aeroad. It was the second violent robbery in the park within 24 hours after the owner of a 2021 Cannondale System Six was pushed off his bike by two balaclava-clad men on an electric scooter.

Surrey Police is asking anyone who witnessed Sunday's incident, or noticed anything suspicious in the area at the time, to please get in touch quoting PR/45220035368. This can be done via the webchat online, submitting a case report or calling 101.

Anonymous information can be submitted to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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OldRidgeback | 2 years ago

That's really alarming. I hope the cops catch these scumbags. And I hope the victim isn't too shaken up by what was obviously a nasty experience.

ChrisB200SX | 2 years ago

Met a guy on Easter Monday who was headed South, back across Caversham and Reading same as myself, turns out he had been attacked Road Rash style by some youths, two of which were on an illegal electric off-road motorbike, they had ambushed him on a road where there were mutiple escape alleys and such.
I think the first he knew about it was when he received a sharp sideways kick, he said he was lucky to stay upright but fancied his chances against the three of them. Fortunately they backed down after he pointed out his camera and that he was willing to stand his ground.
Hopefully this has been reported to the Police by now and they'll actually do something about it. It's potentially the same illegal motorbike I've seen being ridden very illegally and dangerously just south of the Oracle shopping centre, there may even be a few of them.
This incredibly dangerous type of robbery needs to be stamped out pretty quickly, I believe a woman was knocked off her bike a few years ago around the same area so they could steal her laptop.

ChrisB200SX replied to ChrisB200SX | 2 years ago

and there was this 2 years ago, same area I've seen these illegal motorbikes

The Baroudeur replied to ChrisB200SX | 2 years ago

Hi Chris - that was me you helped on Easter Monday . Thanks for stopping and assisting - strength in numbers. They didn't like the camera as you say and facing them down was the right thing to do as trying to escape would have led me to a more isolated spot. Police are pursuing assault and attempted robbery with at least one positive ID. These guys have also pushed a lady rider into a parked car and threatened another lady with rape apparently so I am glad that they are being brought to heel. Of course it's not just bike crime they are involved with. Cops said standing my ground was the best thing I could have done - you're allowed to defend yourself at law - and I was determined at least one of them was going to suffer badly if they tried for the bike again. Thanks again for the help - owe you a coffee at least. 

DeeJayJay | 2 years ago

It would appear that it isn't just single female riders they are targeting now, as a male member of a local club was targeted yesterday morning at the same location. They rode up along side him on a scooter and attempted to push him off the bike. Luckily he managed to stay upright and take evasive action. 

Hirsute | 2 years ago

Sounds like there is a need for a sting operation with it being limited to a small area.

andystow replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago

Hear me out. A bait bike, but ridden instead of locked up, and full of thermite on a timer that needs resetting via a hidden switch every five minutes.

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