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Tom Fitzpatrick fears theft of bike days before he heads to Belgium may wreck pro dream

An aspiring cyclist backed by the Dave Rayner Fund fears his dreams of becoming a professional may have been wrecked following the theft of his Specialized S-Works Venge bike from the garage of his parents’ home in Norfolk.

Tom Fitzpatrick from Kenninghall is due to go to Belgium this month to take up a place with Terra Safety Shoes team, alongside road.cc reviewer and blogger, Liam Glen.

But it looks as if the 21-year-old will have to head to Zottegen in Belgium without his £8,000 bike following the theft overnight on Sunday , and he is worried that will prevent him from realising his dream, reports the Diss Express.

While his team will provide him with a frame, he will need to source his own components, says the newspaper.

“It is pretty gutting at this time of year,” he explained. “I am just about to start the racing season over in Europe, so it is all pretty frustrating. It is an excellent machine. Racing at a high level, you really need the good equipment.

“It would be so frustrating to ruin the season and ruin my chances. If I am not good enough, I am not good enough, but if it comes down to this that would be hard to take.”

He added: “I am so close to achieving my dream in the next couple of years, so it would be such a shame if this ruined years of hard work.”

The newspaper says that Norfolk Constabulary think the theft occurred between midnight and 6am on the morning of Sunday 23 February after the doors of the garage at the family home were forced open.

The 56cm frame is painted red, black and white, and the bike has an SRM Power Meter and 3T handlebars.

Anyone who has information regarding the bike is requested to contact Detective Constable Simon Cooper at Thetford CID on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

14 comments

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Dunks517 [44 posts] 1 year ago
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These targeted thefts of expensive bikes both at home and during organised events seem to be on the rise. I hope he gets back on his bike soon.

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mrmo [2013 posts] 1 year ago
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Dunks517 wrote:

These targeted thefts of expensive bikes both at home and during organised events seem to be on the rise. I hope he gets back on his bike soon.

Agreed, although it used to be MTBs and now that road bikes are more popular!

Simple question though, where are these bikes going, if they are, as I believe, stolen for a market, that means that a lot of people out there are buying either knowingly, or niavely, stolen bikes. I guess part of the solution is, if you see something that is too good to be true it is, if you buy second-hand demand to see the original receipt.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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Really hope he gets sorted, that's a hell of a bike to lose. Its a fair question though about where the market for these things is. Maybe many are going abroad, maybe they're forging receipts then reselling? If they're just getting sold on for £100 then we'd be seeing chavs on Cervelos and stuff.

Maybe the frames aren't going anywhere - all about the components maybe?

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Sausages best friend [3 posts] 1 year ago
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Maybe I'm being a bit naive but how are thieves identifying which properties to target? I presume that Tom would probably notice someone following him home from an event, assuming he was riding the bike. Kenninghall doesn't strike me as being a hotbed of bike-savvy criminals!

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gareth2510 [167 posts] 1 year ago
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I think Ebay has helped this bad situation with bike theft. Selling the bike in bits makes it almost impossible to trace and the scum get away with almost the story book perfect crime.
 102

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Paul_C [393 posts] 1 year ago
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we need serial numbers on the other high-value items like rims, cassettes etc., not just the frame.

also, did he secure the bike to the garage wall at all? or was he just relying on the garage door...

Someone knew that bike was in there...

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southseabythesea [143 posts] 1 year ago
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That sucks!

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mrmo [2013 posts] 1 year ago
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Sausages best friend wrote:

Maybe I'm being a bit naive but how are thieves identifying which properties to target? I presume that Tom would probably notice someone following him home from an event, assuming he was riding the bike. Kenninghall doesn't strike me as being a hotbed of bike-savvy criminals!

From experience, at least for MTBs, there were a number of ****s who hung around in car parks and were known to follow people home. I don't doubt the same applies now. Go to a race/sportive and then follow someone home after, come back in the early hours and break the garage door.

There is also the paranoid view of Strava, Garmin Connect, Endomondo, etc. IF you are not careful the traces lead to your house! As a word of advice, use the privacy settings, vet follower requests etc.

Other methods, google is your friend/enemy, it is scary how much is out there!

I know a few people who have had multiple break-ins, ie wait for the insurance to pay out and then nick the replacement. I have also heard rumour but no evidence that some bike shop staff have been in on this nick to order as well.

I also am fairly sure the Police do know who many of these thieves are, whether they have the evidence to do anything is a different question. And whether they consider bike theft a "serious" crime is a third question.

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ped [207 posts] 1 year ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Maybe the frames aren't going anywhere - all about the components maybe?

I was wondering the same the other day after the Team Sky thefts (following the other pro team ones), and came to that conclusion. I can't see these bikes getting a rattle-can spray job and swapped for a £10 wrap like the 'good old days', and nobody's going to question individual components being sold. On fleabay bits are going to go for market value too, so it's not even easy to spot as suspiciously cheap.

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neildmoss [264 posts] 1 year ago
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On the topic of marking/tagging components as well as frames, there's the microdot systems.

Google found me this as an example (not associated, don't use it myself) - http://www.alpha-dot.co.uk/

What do folk think of these systems?

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DanTe [165 posts] 1 year ago
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That totally sucks. Hope somebody, local shops or the like can sort him out enough to get him on the road to Belgium..

Kenninghall is the arse end of nowhere.

He may of been spotted going into the garage or god forbid he's been starting his Strava rides if he's on it from his home address..Seems a prety specific crime..

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dodgy [170 posts] 1 year ago
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This must be a huge set back, hope something comes up for him.

Isn't £8000 rather a lot, even for an aspiring pro? Surely you can be competitive on something around the £4000 mark? Diminishing returns kick in massively after about £2000.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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dodgy wrote:

This must be a huge set back, hope something comes up for him.

Isn't £8000 rather a lot, even for an aspiring pro? Surely you can be competitive on something around the £4000 mark? Diminishing returns kick in massively after about £2000.

It's a fair point - you could spend £3k on a Canyon and have pretty much a pro-standard bike.

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blablablacksheep20 [41 posts] 1 year ago
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notfastenough wrote:
dodgy wrote:

This must be a huge set back, hope something comes up for him.

Isn't £8000 rather a lot, even for an aspiring pro? Surely you can be competitive on something around the £4000 mark? Diminishing returns kick in massively after about £2000.

It's a fair point - you could spend £3k on a Canyon and have pretty much a pro-standard bike.

For pro racing you must use equipment that the team uses/ allows. Ie you cannot race on a canyon if team uses specialized bikes.

With regards to bikes being nicked, I had two MTB nicked not so long ago. But it became apparent that they were after my canyon road bike and had been following me to my home. Very disconcerting!.

The biggest issue is that you cannot get your bike back once stolen, even with microdots ect. The biggest way to stop bike being nicked is stopping thief's from stealing it in first place.

Add to this a simple sticker saying its been registered on a immobilise style site( ugly sticker but seems only way of putting them off).

So to sum up...once nicked little you can do sadly.that's the overall response I got from police.