Pinarello Dogma stolen from sportive bike park by thief in cycling clothing

Quick police action leads to bike recovery

by John Stevenson   February 24, 2014  

Ollie the tea-leaf

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.”

33 user comments

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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.

posted by sporran [39 posts]
24th February 2014 - 14:38

21 Likes

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!

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

jmaccelari's picture

posted by jmaccelari [151 posts]
24th February 2014 - 15:01

31 Likes

Baseball bat across the knee caps should do it. Utter scum who deserve to be put in an hospital bed for a few months.

posted by Shep73 [137 posts]
24th February 2014 - 15:06

36 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.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [488 posts]
24th February 2014 - 15:11

28 Likes

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.

posted by laterrehaute [16 posts]
24th February 2014 - 15:23

17 Likes

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.

gb901's picture

posted by gb901 [150 posts]
24th February 2014 - 16:14

19 Likes

And despite the threat of cutting off hands Rolling Eyes 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.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [517 posts]
24th February 2014 - 16:31

18 Likes

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! Cool Smile Applause

Pffft Gears, who needs them

JackBuxton's picture

posted by JackBuxton [38 posts]
24th February 2014 - 16:32

18 Likes

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! Cool Smile Applause

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.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [480 posts]
24th February 2014 - 17:12

12 Likes

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!

posted by Gary613 [32 posts]
24th February 2014 - 17:15

18 Likes

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.

posted by farrell [1409 posts]
24th February 2014 - 17:25

13 Likes

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.......

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
24th February 2014 - 18:04

19 Likes

perfect analogy

posted by jarredscycling [446 posts]
24th February 2014 - 18:33

12 Likes

I use this thing. No power, fit and forget.

posted by localsurfer [163 posts]
24th February 2014 - 18:48

18 Likes

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

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

Cyclist's picture

posted by Cyclist [146 posts]
24th February 2014 - 19:28

24 Likes

Hope the guy gets his bike back in A1 condition.

posted by Super Domestique [1599 posts]
24th February 2014 - 19:52

11 Likes

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.

posted by Awavey [11 posts]
24th February 2014 - 21:16

13 Likes

@ 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?

Extra bike? What extra bike dear?

goggy's picture

posted by goggy [92 posts]
24th February 2014 - 21:17

10 Likes

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.

posted by Guyz2010 [284 posts]
24th February 2014 - 22:10

10 Likes

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.

posted by Critchio [106 posts]
24th February 2014 - 22:59

15 Likes

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!

gb901's picture

posted by gb901 [150 posts]
25th February 2014 - 0:57

14 Likes

I'm glad I saved myself some money and went on the Sunday club run from Stratford instead.

http://matmitchellcycling.wordpress.com
The usual new 4th Cat blog with some stuff about Pros too.

mtm_01's picture

posted by mtm_01 [90 posts]
25th February 2014 - 10:04

7 Likes

Guyz2010 wrote:
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.

Stop being so melodramatic. So because I dont want to return to a time where kids were hanged for things like stealing a loaf of bread, nor live in a country where we have ridiculously barbaric punishments while claiming to be 'better' than others, doesnt mean that I would pat a thief on the head and give them a benefits check.

The shit people come out with never ceases to amaze me.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [488 posts]
25th February 2014 - 11:24

12 Likes

Taking me too seriously Zanf. Chill out. Just hate scum who nick your transport then get 20 hours community service for doing it.

posted by Guyz2010 [284 posts]
25th February 2014 - 15:38

10 Likes

Time to check out "Weight weenies "posts from .. Bulgaria ..Latvia and all the other "ias " I think

posted by brnbrom [2 posts]
25th February 2014 - 20:09

6 Likes

brnbrom wrote:
Time to check out "Weight weenies "posts from .. Bulgaria ..Latvia and all the other "ias " I think

Nice bit of casual racism, is the daily mail site down?

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [371 posts]
25th February 2014 - 20:16

7 Likes

Mark my my words. It won't be long before people are being mugged down country lanes with their bike thrown in the back of a white van. I might fit an attachment for a taser, pepper spray and baseball bat (made of carbon of course).

As long as the law doesn't take bike theft (or cars killing cyclists) seriously then we haven't got a hope. Doesn't help that ebay, gumtree etc don't give a crap and little is done to stop them getting out of the country. Lets face it, bikes are hard to pack down and are easy to see, we aren't talking about a bit of coke shoved up your chufter, they kinda stand out.

If someone attempts to steal my bike again I vow (using self defense) they will never be able to walk again properly.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [299 posts]
26th February 2014 - 12:42

2 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
Mark my my words. It won't be long before people are being mugged down country lanes with their bike thrown in the back of a white van. I might fit an attachment for a taser, pepper spray and baseball bat (made of carbon of course).

As long as the law doesn't take bike theft (or cars killing cyclists) seriously then we haven't got a hope. Doesn't help that ebay, gumtree etc don't give a crap and little is done to stop them getting out of the country. Lets face it, bikes are hard to pack down and are easy to see, we aren't talking about a bit of coke shoved up your chufter, they kinda stand out.

If someone attempts to steal my bike again I vow (using self defense) they will never be able to walk again properly.

Theft is theft. The law applies to that as it does to any other kind of property. The trouble is that bikes are very portable and difficult to secure completely and some of them are quite valuable. The police need to put resources where they can make a difference. Don't conflate this with their attitude to prosecuting drivers. It's not the same thing at all. Once stolen a bike has a limited chance of being found again. There's little documentation on most of them. There's no registered owner/keeper. no MOT, insurance or anything like that where the ID of a vehicle could be picked up. You can disassemble a bike in minutes and put other wheels on etc and I bet even the owner wouldn't definitively be able to tell it was there actual bike. From a police point of view it is a waste of time.

The same can be said of mobile phones and they do actually have a digital identity. If you report a £500 Iphone stolen then you just get a crime number and recently the police have been refusing these due to all sorts of insurance scams.

Nicking a bike that is fairly untraceable is a low risk low level crime. Mugging someone for a valuable bike is far more high risk. For a start it is robbery not theft. Robbery is regarded as a violent crime. Theft is not. Max penalty for theft is 7 years and that would require all the aggravating factors to be present. Planning, acting in concert, vulnerable victim, previous offences, high value. The starting point for sentencing is community order.

Robbery has a maximum sentence of Life. The starting point is 1 year custodial. Any actual violence used just aggravates that upwards. Likewise planning and acting in concert.

Totally different level of risk for the offender.

Robberies are logically only worth doing for big cash. You may get a £5k bike but that's only going to a few hundred pounds for you once sold. Why bother when you can nick bikes all day long with very little effort, very little chance of being caught and if perhaps caught will only get a community order.

Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand.

posted by oozaveared [579 posts]
26th February 2014 - 13:09

3 Likes

Simmo72 wrote:
Mark my my words. It won't be long before people are being mugged down country lanes with their bike thrown in the back of a white van. I might fit an attachment for a taser, pepper spray and baseball bat (made of carbon of course).

As long as the law doesn't take bike theft (or cars killing cyclists) seriously then we haven't got a hope. Doesn't help that ebay, gumtree etc don't give a crap and little is done to stop them getting out of the country. Lets face it, bikes are hard to pack down and are easy to see, we aren't talking about a bit of coke shoved up your chufter, they kinda stand out.

If someone attempts to steal my bike again I vow (using self defense) they will never be able to walk again properly.

Even with years of physical training, I really wouldn't be confident trying to defend myself while wearing cleated road shoes.

I don't think that preventing someone from walking again would quite qualify as 'self defense', either.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3116 posts]
26th February 2014 - 13:29

3 Likes

You will have probably already seen above the suggested measures which sportive organisers should implement, all at a cost of time and money.
Isn't this pandering to the"nanny state" syndrome?
Whatever happened to taking responsibility for your own property?
If you have a bike which may have cost you multiples of thousands of pounds,
why would you leave it unlocked and unattended?
Before anyone starts to do so, I don't think this is the forum topic to complain of the high entry cost of some sportives. And no, I have no connection to any sportive organisation or promoter.

K Stand Ken

posted by K Stand Ken [43 posts]
28th February 2014 - 12:35

1 Like