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Quick police action leads to bike recovery

If you think your bike’s safe at a sportive because it and you are surrounded by like-minded cyclists, think again. A customer of Burton on Trent bike shop Cadence Sport had his Pinarello Dogma swiped from the bike parking area at a ride yesterday. This isnt' the first time we've reported on such a theft, last September we reported on the case of two bikes stolen by Lycra-clad thieves at the Tour of Britiain ride at Trentham Gardens in Stoke on Trent.

This time hanks to the quick-thinking of a friend and the local police, it looks like the rightful owner will get his bike back.

Nuno Freitas was all set to ride the Rawlinson Bracket Sportive on Sunday, in the Warwickshire village of Gaydon, when his bike was stolen from the designated bike park at the Heritage Motor Museum.

“I had signed in and attached my ride number to the bike, just waiting around for the start, chatting with mates etc,” Nuno said in an email to shop owner, Tour de France veteran Adrian Timmis. “I was never more than a few meters away and still don’t know how I missed it going.

“When I realised it had gone my mate rode off to the main gate and got photos of the guy driving off with the bike hanging out his car. Boot open! Security called the police and we gave them the car reg number. They picked up the car on the motorway cameras and stopped him on the M1 towards Leicestershire. Unfortunately the bike wasn’t in the car.”

However, yesterday evening Nuno got some better news. While the driver continued to deny stealing the bike, claiming a friend of his had taken it and he was just the driver, police had persuaded him to show them where he had abandoned the bike.

Nuno said: “Somewhat of a result that I will get my bike back. I’m not sure what condition it will be in though.”

Police told Nuno they had found cycling clothing in the car that matched the clothing worn by the driver in the photos taken by Nuno’s friend. “The guy was dressed in full cycling gear to blend in, even cycling shoes but without cleats,” said Nuno.

He added: “You never think that this will happen at these kind of events as you assume all involved are like minded enthusiasts, however it looks like he was there with the sole intention of stealing a bike.”

Incidents like this are a nightmare for event organisers, as it’s all-but-impossible to exclude non-participants from the typical sportive start area, and a determined thief could just pay for an entry anyway.

Rawlinson Bracket organiser Steve Jeffries told road.cc that the theft occurred just after the event HQ had opened and it appeared that the thief targeted the most expensive bike.

Steve said: “After yesterday’s event we did discuss the feasibility of a ticketing system for the bike park for next year but this would result in rider frustration. We will be posting details of this incident on our social networking sites as a warning to others, whether at next year’s event and at other events around the country given the relatively sophisticated and pre-meditated nature of this crime.

“While we can’t offer truly secure bike parking we will be enforcing a ‘no car zone’ around the bike parking area to hinder any attempts at a ‘drive-by style’  bike theft, and confirming that CCTV coverage is comprehensive.

“We are grateful to our host at the Heritage Motor Centre for their quick response and hope that the quick resolution of this incident will act to deter any thieves in future.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

39 comments

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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Just goes to show you cannot trust anyone. Lock it or lose it. Best to sign in whilst the bikes still in the car then go get it.
As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

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BillyElNino [11 posts] 2 years ago
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A for effort with the disguise though!

No cleats is like holding up the wrong fingers in Inglorious Basterds..

"He had his arm warmers on inside out so we arrested him immediately."

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KiwiMike [1200 posts] 2 years ago
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For events like this with the 'saddle rail' type racking, why couldn't the organiser just put a keyed lock at each bike location, zip-tied to the rail to hold it in place, but still actually looping over the rail. You bring your bike along, pass the lock through the frame, take the key. Make it the sort of lock that when open, the key can't be removed. Then, the thief would have to boltcut/hacksaw the lock. Even the best MAMIL outfit don't come with a boltcutter pocket  3

(oh, sportive/Triathlon industry: you're welcome)

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sporran [42 posts] 2 years ago
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At last year's RideLondon, all riders had to have number on their top and their helmet and stickers on front and side of their bikes. These were checked going in and out of the bike park. A similar, slightly less strict system is in place at Kilo To Go's Cheshire Cat.

As the organiser above says, such systems are a bit of a pain, but unfortunately we're probably all going to have to put up with it, as these sorts of thefts are happening all the time now.

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jmaccelari [241 posts] 2 years ago
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Two bikes were stolen at last year's Tour Ride at Stoke-on-Trent by two guys in cycling kit- some nice CCTV of the guys riding out of the car park was captured. They were left outside the toilets by the riders, so I suppose it was their own faults.

This seems to be becoming a more prevalent problem, and the only way I see is a secure park with a sticker on the bike and the helmet. I can't see it being a pain for anyone except the organiser who has not arrange for the 'lock-up' facilities.

As for the cyclists, if they don't like it, they don't have to use it.

I have ridden the Cape Argus in Cape Town where over 20 000 bicycles get put into a secure park without any loss. And crime there is a major issue!

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Shep73 [211 posts] 2 years ago
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Baseball bat across the knee caps should do it. Utter scum who deserve to be put in an hospital bed for a few months.

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zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
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Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

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zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

Avatar
zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

Avatar
zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

Avatar
zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

Avatar
zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

Avatar
zanf [835 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

Avatar
laterrehaute [25 posts] 2 years ago
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sporran wrote:

At last year's RideLondon, all riders had to have number on their top and their helmet and stickers on front and side of their bikes. These were checked going in and out of the bike park. A similar, slightly less strict system is in place at Kilo To Go's Cheshire Cat.

As the organiser above says, such systems are a bit of a pain, but unfortunately we're probably all going to have to put up with it, as these sorts of thefts are happening all the time now.

These number systems are standard at Triathlon events I have attended as well as most sportives I have had the privilege of riding. Of course it introduces a small additional cost. All these systems can fail - I had to walk up to and ask 'security' to check my numbers as I left the bike park at the Wiggle Dragon Ride last year.

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gb901 [149 posts] 2 years ago
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sporran wrote:

At last year's RideLondon, all riders had to have number on their top and their helmet and stickers on front and side of their bikes. These were checked going in and out of the bike park. A similar, slightly less strict system is in place at Kilo To Go's Cheshire Cat.

As the organiser above says, such systems are a bit of a pain, but unfortunately we're probably all going to have to put up with it, as these sorts of thefts are happening all the time now.

Similar in practice at the annual Norwich Triathlon run by local club TriAnglia: its proven successful with no bikes stolen to my knowledge? Club volunteers at the sole bike transition entrance/exit conduct checks.

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 2 years ago
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And despite the threat of cutting off hands  29 it is also the system in place at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, where there is some damned expensive kit lying around.

I help run the transition area and part of our job is to match the race number attached to the bike with a printed wristband worn by each competitor (like the things you get sometimes at gigs or theme-parks) as they check out their bikes.

It's not that hard to implement.

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JackBuxton [35 posts] 2 years ago
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I know its a pain etc but in my opinion if you're going to buy an expensive bike (maybe even just a new bike) get it chipped/fitted with a tracker! something that costs under £75 can save you £1000+ and a whole lot of heartache of losing your trusty steed!  16 1 41

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KiwiMike [1200 posts] 2 years ago
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JackBuxton wrote:

I know its a pain etc but in my opinion if you're going to buy an expensive bike (maybe even just a new bike) get it chipped/fitted with a tracker! something that costs under £75 can save you £1000+ and a whole lot of heartache of losing your trusty steed!  16 1 41

Great - something else to remember to charge up. And remembering, you *already* lost your bike - you just hope that the Plod will get around to following/finding it before the thief disables the tracker thing or puts it under some bacofoil. Or takes off all the easily-shifted non-serial-numbered bits incl. wheels and fork, and chucks the frame in a hedge.

A 2-6mm hex set will remove about 80% of a decent bike's value in minutes.

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Gary613 [42 posts] 2 years ago
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The last Ironman I did in 2010 at Austria you were digitally photographed with your bike and numbers when leaving your bike in transition. Maybe overkill but I don't think any bikes were stolen!

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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gb901 wrote:

Similar in practice at the annual Norwich Triathlon run by local club TriAnglia: its proven successful with no bikes stolen to my knowledge?

I can not be the only person that ended up reading that back in Alan Partridge's voice.

TriAnglia, wonderful.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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zanf wrote:
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

It's a sod to keep the burka from catching in the chain though.......

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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perfect analogy

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localsurfer [202 posts] 2 years ago
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I use this thing. No power, fit and forget.

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Cyclist [295 posts] 2 years ago
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That's why I stopped doing triathlon, bike has to be left for too long, and no one ever checks when you are leaving transition at full sprint....

Also to be fair it was a little overkill at the Austrian ironman, seeing as they don't have any crime there....lol

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Super Domestique [1605 posts] 2 years ago
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Hope the guy gets his bike back in A1 condition.

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Awavey [150 posts] 2 years ago
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but I thought someone had their bike stolen from RideLondon last year in similar circumstances, albeit the freecycle part so maybe the setup was different I dont know as I couldnt go.

And it was only through recognising his allocated number on a bike in photos the offical photographers had taken, that they got a picture of the thief riding the stolen bike down the mall.

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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@ Sporran (re the Cape Argus). I am doing that this year for the first time. Do you mean you have to leave your bike unattended? Or can you stay with it if you wish? I am expecting to turn up at the start, stay with the bike, finish in a brilliant time (or not ... 38 degrees there will be my excuse!) and then head out afterwards. Is that possible?

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Guyz2010 [304 posts] 2 years ago
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zanf wrote:
Guyz2010 wrote:

As for the culprit I bet theres no sustantial evidence to prosecute him, despite the cycle gear, the witness and the admission by the thief.....cut his hand off I say.

If you want Middle East style justice then it sort of tells you where you should go live.

Extreme maybe but sod being politically correct. Maybe I'd take him to the middle of the York Moors make him walk home in a tee shirt n kegs mid winter.

What would you do, tick him off and giving him some benefits. F. That.

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Critchio [176 posts] 2 years ago
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Its easy for organisers to remedy this on the big, expensive sportives. Have a couple of marshalls man the only exit/entry and when you get your bike number tag it comes in two parts with a signature line over the perforation line. You sign it and seperate the parts. One goes round your wrist, the other goes on the bike. Anyone that cant produce both parts doesn't take the bike out the gate.

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gb901 [149 posts] 2 years ago
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farrell wrote:
gb901 wrote:

Similar in practice at the annual Norwich Triathlon run by local club TriAnglia: its proven successful with no bikes stolen to my knowledge?

I can not be the only person that ended up reading that back in Alan Partridge's voice.

TriAnglia, wonderful.

You mentalist!

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