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Thames Valley Police seek four (possibly bruised) would-be bike thieves after cyclist fights back

A cyclist fought off four men who attempted to steal his bike in a West Oxfordshire town on Saturday evening, says Thames Valley Police, which has launched an appeal to try and track down the quartet whom it says may have received injuries or bruising as their target mounted what sounds like a spirited defence.

The incident happened at 8.30pm in the centre of Carterton, which lies immediately to the north of RAF Brize Norton in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Witney constituency.

According to Thames Valley Police:

At around 8.30pm, the victim was riding his bike through Church View towards the alleyway that leads to Stanmore Crescent. When he entered the alleyway he was hit with an object between 4ft and 5ft long which was possibly a metal or wooden bar, which made him fall off his bike.

When he was on the ground he saw four white men, one who still had the object in his hand. In self defence the victim pulled the legs from under this man causing him to fall to the ground and a struggle ensued during which the victim hit the offender twice in the face.

The victim then hit a second man, and noticed the other two men were stealing his bike. He followed them and pushed one of them into a fence demanding his bike back. One of the offenders who still had hold of the victim’s bike then threw it back in the direction of the victim. The victim then pushed this offender using his bike causing him to fall to the ground. The victim then escaped on his bike.

Police have issued descriptions of the men they are trying to track down, all of them described as slim and white and aged in their late teens or early twenties.

The first was clean shaven and wearing a light coloured hooded top with either white or grey and jeans.

The second man was wearing a light coloured hooded top, which was possibly branded Superdry, jeans, and white high top trainers with colours on.

The third man was wearing a hooded top with a stripe in a dark colour on his left arm, Calvin Klein boxer shorts, and jeans.

The fourth man was wearing a dark blue or black hooded top, jeans, and trainers.

According to the police, the cyclist received bruising to the ribs during the incident, but did not need to be treated in hospital.

However, they added that his assailants may themselves have received injuries, including bruising, as a result of their intended victim fighting back.

Anyone who has information regarding the incident is asked to contact PC Petra Summers at Witney police station via the 24-hour Thames Valley Police Enquiry Line on 101, or the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 101.

Police advice generally is to hand over possessions - which after all can be replaced - to thieves, but what would you have done? Fight back or let them take it?

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.

25 comments

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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"Lies to the north of RAF Brize Norton"
Wondering if the cyclist was perhaps blessed with some military training?
 41

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Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
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Some Fella wrote:

"Lies to the north of RAF Brize Norton"
Wondering if the cyclist was perhaps blessed with some military training?
 41

I'm local and that was my very first thought.

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cidermart [489 posts] 3 years ago
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Well lets hope that the scumbags get caught and seriously think twice before they ever do something like that again. Good for him.

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DonnyCampo [63 posts] 3 years ago
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"victim" 1 scumbags 0. Hope they get caught and the RAF man gets to have another go at them...

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 3 years ago
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Good to see I wasn't the only one to jump to that conclusion. Also, as obvious as it is, most people won't take the legs of an assailant when on the ground, it's a nerve-wracking position to be looking up from. However, it's the first thing you'd think of if you happened to be into mixed martial arts/submission fighting. Good on him.

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Velo_Alex [73 posts] 3 years ago
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I've got a strong suspicion these 'characters' are the ones who tried to steal a Kona MTB off a young teenager last summer. Happened in the same area, group of 4 involved, locals saw them off and Police - unsurprisingly - not particularly interested.

The ridiculous thing is this happened (literally) just across the road from the Police station.

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
Some Fella wrote:

"Lies to the north of RAF Brize Norton"
Wondering if the cyclist was perhaps blessed with some military training?
 41

I'm local and that was my very first thought.

I'm sure, if that is indeed the case, there'll be a cheap direct-to-DVD Steven Seagal movie made out of it with the week. Although "Under Siege 3: Carterton Crisis" might not tempt buyers to pick it up from the bargain bins next to the checkouts in Walmart, so they'd have to change the location to Bumblefuck, Idaho.

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MacLeod113 [5 posts] 3 years ago
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Good man for standing up to these thugs.

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sponican [88 posts] 3 years ago
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Definitely not RAF. They don't fight at weekends.

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fretters [42 posts] 3 years ago
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massive kudos to the guy!!!! assailants 3 and 4 must have been getting pretty twitchy after seeing what happened to the first 2.

What was the cyclists name Mr. C. Norris?

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bigbluebike [17 posts] 3 years ago
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Didn't know Jack Reacher was a cyclist  1

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carlosjenno [44 posts] 3 years ago
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Scum like this deserve to have their fucking cocks kicked off. Wankers. I hope he fucking broke them. I want a go.

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Angelfishsolo [132 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh someone beat me to the Mr C Norris joke. Kudos to the rider anyway. Maybe the four tossers will think twice next time.  39

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ragtag [217 posts] 3 years ago
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Hopefully an isolated incident. I've often thought about this when I'm out on country roads but wouldn't have expected it in the middle of a town.

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 3 years ago
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My worry is that there's no way I could have a scrap in a pair of cleated road shoes.

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karlowen [65 posts] 3 years ago
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"The third man was wearing a hooded top with a stripe in a dark colour on his left arm"

Rapha Hoodie?

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robert_obrien [118 posts] 3 years ago
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'The third man was wearing a hooded top with a stripe in a dark colour on his left arm'
Rapha?
Intended victim stikes back...Michael Winner

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Nevis the cat [26 posts] 3 years ago
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Well, having done my parachute training at Brize, it's possible our chum was Para, Marine, SAS or some other sneaky beaky.

or a Rock Ape, but then he'd be riding a Pendleton and who nicks one of those.  4

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comm88 [76 posts] 3 years ago
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Love it loads!!!

Let's find the guy and give him a Public Bravery Award - and for kudos maybe Giant, Trek, Specialized, or some manufacturer could seize the initiative and give the guy a brand new bike - fabulous publicity for them and a big up for guyz who ride bikes and who are not pushovers for a bunch of acne faced scumbags.

I want that man as my riding buddie!!!!

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Furry Mommy [32 posts] 3 years ago
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While I do support the comments and congratulate this guy for beating off the potential thieves BUT shouldn't the police (TVP) be viewing this as a potential attempted manslaughter case or similar....??

This guy was attacked by multiple assailants of which one of them was armed, knocked from his bicycle in an attempt to steal it, then had to fight them off....sorry but in this case I would be aiming debilitating injuries just so that I could make a hasty exit.

Though I bet the police will not treat this incident as such...!!

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WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
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'Calvin Klein boxer shorts'? Did our hero dish out a wedgie as well?  4

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Carl [137 posts] 3 years ago
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Here's a tip: put the bike between yourself and the assailant. If they want to grab hold of you, let them. Then step back sharply, pulling them with you. Their legs will get tangled in the bike and they will fall over it.

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fatbeggaronabike [814 posts] 3 years ago
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Looking into my cynical crystal ball (again) I see the police taking statements from those four thugs (sorry, poor misguided youngsters who were abused, brought up in a broken home [please insert your own favourite excuse here]) and then prosecuting the cyclist for assaulting the gang of thugs (sorry group of innocent bystanders)  20

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 3 years ago
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@Nevis - why a Pendleton for a Rock Ape?!  4 Spent a couple of years with them at Honington, good bunch.

@Furry Mommy - agreed, if it's one of them a couple of good cracks might do it, but if it's four it's a whole different ball game.

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bikeylikey [204 posts] 3 years ago
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FATBEGGARONABIKE wrote:

Looking into my cynical crystal ball (again) I see the police taking statements from those four thugs (sorry, poor misguided youngsters who were abused, brought up in a broken home [please insert your own favourite excuse here]) and then prosecuting the cyclist for assaulting the gang of thugs (sorry group of innocent bystanders)  20

That was my thought too. If any police authority or judge was dumb enough to do that, I hope you would all join me in a huge national protest involving mass rides through city centres, huge petitions etc. to get the law changed. You should be able to do pretty much whatever the hell you can to protect yourself and your bike against scumbags like this.

As an old geezer, I probably wouldn't have as much success as the hero. I'm going to get bike tagging and have just bought a personal alarm on the strength of this article, as I live in the centre of Bristol and there's a lot of crime locally. What a pity it's illegal to carry anything more effective. CS gas spray should be made legal for this purpose.

My insurance is only for bikes stolen from home, mainly because I never leave an expensive bike out anywhere except outside cafes, and then I alarm it and watch it if possible. The premium for all my bikes, and my wife's, is ludicrous, insane, about 3 grand from one insurer. Insurance should have 3 tiers, home, mugging, and outside theft when the owner is not present. Plus it should be for any one bike while you're out, you shouldn't have to insure every one individually for outside. You are only ever out on one bike at a time, obviously. It's yet another insurance company scam if you ask me.

Last but not least, I'd like to say to the so called 'victim': YESSSSSS! Brilliant! Bloody well done!