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Rider gives thumbs-up to Avon & Somerset Constabulary as it proves determination to stamp out bike theft

A cyclist in Bath was yesterday stopped by a police officer for not wearing the “appropriate gear” while riding a fixed gear bike, due to suspicions he may have stolen it – proof of Avon & Somerset Constabulary’s determination to stamp out bike theft.

The cyclist, Tim Burton, while a little taken aback by the incident in Keynsham yesterday afternoon, said on Twitter that he was happy to see that the force is taking the issue of bike theft seriously.

"Just got stopped by the police for 'not wearing Lycra' but being on a road bike," he tweeted.

"The PC said I wasn't dressed in appropriate gear to be riding my bike so had I stolen it?

"I was clipped in. No scruffy trainers but clean(ish) SPD shoes.” Burton’s bike is equipped with Crank Bros Candy pedals.

“Maybe I didn't look hipster enough? Apparently there have been some shed break-ins locally. The bike looks too good for me to own, obviously!"

Due to the hills around Bath you don't see as many fixies as in some places with flatter terrain, and we're guessing that Burton's bike had drop bars and so at casual glance would look like a road bike, which have been the subject of targeted thefts in the area.

After checking the bike’s frame number and performing a background check on Burton, he was allowed to go on his way.

The cyclist, who admitted that the sight of him on the bike probably looked “dodgy” said: "It is nice to see them looking out for pinched bikes, I told [the PC] I appreciated it."

He added: “I'm not saying they were wrong. It's amusing that I've been stopped for no Lycra!”

PC Keith James, who did the stop check, said: "Bike thefts are a priority for us in this area as we've had a number of garage and shed break-ins. I'm a cyclist myself and it was unusual to see an expensive bike being ridden by someone in non-cycling clothes and without a helmet. It soon became clear that Mr Burton was the genuine owner and I'm glad he's supportive of what we're doing to try to catch bike thieves."

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.

44 comments

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Mountainboy [95 posts] 2 years ago
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As my TCR Advanced was nicked in A&S last month this is good news as far as I'm concerned.

So my experience so far:

Good response from police (did house to house and spotted a neighbour had CCTV)
Police 'interested' in bike theft.

Slow response from insurers, but I'm still hopeful!

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Crazy, are they going to stop everyone not wearing what they think bicycle riders should wear?

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crash144019 [45 posts] 2 years ago
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Personally I'm with Tim wouldn't mind been stopped at least it shows the police are taking it seriously. Recall a tale some years back when a guy spotted some youths walking with a carbon frame road bike. Thining it was odd he approached them and buoght it for £30. The bike was returned to it's owner as it had an Evans sportive number n the handle bars

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 2 years ago
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I've been stopped a couple of times by the police, one just wanted to know about the bike and make sure I wasn't breaking any laws like having a huge motor on it.

The other was a little arsey, MET police up from London for Royal protection. Did the full nine yards of checks, then was let go.

I am quite happy being stopped and checked because I have nothing to hide. Its good to see them doing a job.

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Dr. Ko [174 posts] 2 years ago
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Looking fashionable on a bike:  105http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/10/bad-boys-special-swiss-bike...

"Sorry, officer, the Ferrari is being serviced."

"Our new business policy is less red and more green!"  4

Although I never run into trouble with the police, I'll have to switch to a Brompton for the next position.  2

So any advice what to wear on a Brompton is welcome!

Regards,

Dr. Ko

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Pondo [19 posts] 2 years ago
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I think that's fantastic, good on em.  1

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elyobelyob [10 posts] 2 years ago
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In the same vein, people wearing lycra and not on a bicycle should be arrested for attempted burglary.

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therealsmallboy [166 posts] 2 years ago
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Definitely moving in the right direction

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pmanc [200 posts] 2 years ago
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I got my bike back six months after it was stolen due to the police stopping the new "owner" in similar circumstances. Apparently he said he'd bought it from a "gentleman". I'm still not sure exactly why they stopped him. But the frame number and security markings were intact so a quick look-up, and they identified it as mine straight away.

Unfortunately it was stripped of all the accessories and rather trashed. They'd swapped a disc wheel for a non-disc one, and they clearly hadn't had access to the special key for the security skewers - properly bodged. But at least no-one is benefitting from the theft.

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alexholt3 [53 posts] 2 years ago
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Should have arrested him for riding a track bike on the road.

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Coleman [334 posts] 2 years ago
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Dr. Ko wrote:

Looking fashionable on a bike:  105http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/10/bad-boys-special-swiss-bike...

"Sorry, officer, the Ferrari is being serviced."

"Our new business policy is less red and more green!"  4

Although I never run into trouble with the police, I'll have to switch to a Brompton for the next position.  2

So any advice what to wear on a Brompton is welcome!

Regards,

Dr. Ko

A bowler hat and sock suspenders.

Nothing else.

Livens up the commute in the City.

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dunnoh [197 posts] 2 years ago
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Excellent work. I have mine inked and datataged. I don't think it protects it, but it makes me happier that if someone does pinch it they would be nicked. Only £20 for the kit and I wish everyone did it

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hoski [80 posts] 2 years ago
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alexholt3 wrote:

Should have arrested him for riding a track bike on the road.

Who said anything about a track bike? ...

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SounDaz_7 [48 posts] 2 years ago
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Proper copper, if something doesn't look right check it out.  1

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Critchio [173 posts] 2 years ago
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If that bike was *your* stolen bike, you'd be pleased the Old Bill stopped him! Its good to see but realistically not all Police officers are experienced in bikes. This cop knew his bikes and realised the rider wasn't in what would be reasonably considered appropriate cycling gear... until he spotted the clip ins, I guess. Another Cop would have perhaps not even paid any attention unless they stop everyone routinely during a crack down. But its really good to see that level of pro-active Policing. My main bike cost me nearly £3k. I'd cry if it got nicked.

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pepita1 [175 posts] 2 years ago
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How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

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Colin Peyresourde [1673 posts] 2 years ago
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I saw some chap in baggy jeans and an Afro (no helmet, non-aerodynamic clothing and hair) cycling a Specialized Allez with a saddle bag. Lets just say the juxtaposition of all those things looked quite odd to me, including the loping, on pavement, off pavement riding style he adopted. It all looked very odd for someone who supposedly spent upwards of £700 on his bike (which, at the look of him, would seem a significant outlay). That is judgemental of me, but I don't care, it looked odd and he would be a prime example of the sort of person I would think the police should do a spot check on.

Why buy an 'expensive' geared racing bike if you're just going to dawdle around town? It was the saddle bag that caught my attention. Useful for punctures, but something that only proper road cyclists would go for (most riders who bike around town aren't worried about getting caught with a flat and don't have them). This guy didn't look like he could tell his top tube from his chain stay.

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Colin Peyresourde [1673 posts] 2 years ago
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pepita1 wrote:

How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

Good point - why doesn't road.cc do an article on bike security and add it to 'what to ride when it's raining' etc.

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crazy-legs [720 posts] 2 years ago
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pepita1 wrote:

How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

Most police stations offer the service.
Sometimes local police will tweet or otherwise publicise some event or other that they're going to (local fairs are a common one) where they'll do bike marking. A local cafe round here has regular "police days" where anyone bringing a bike in can get it security marked.

As above, great to see the police being pro-active in the issue of bike theft, well done that officer.  1

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thelimopit [139 posts] 2 years ago
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I wondering if he would have been pulled over had he been wearing a helmet.

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mancsi [89 posts] 2 years ago
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Anyone based in or around Manchester could go to popupbikes on Corporation Street. Free and instant! Plus good Mancunian roasted coffee!

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John_the_Monkey [436 posts] 2 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Why buy an 'expensive' geared racing bike if you're just going to dawdle around town? It was the saddle bag that caught my attention. Useful for punctures, but something that only proper road cyclists would go for (most riders who bike around town aren't worried about getting caught with a flat and don't have them). This guy didn't look like he could tell his top tube from his chain stay.

Possibly because not everyone has multiple bikes?

My road bike was my commuter, errand runner and weekend steed for a couple of years. TBH, it sometimes comes out with a Carradice on the back & me dressed in baggy shorts for the commute even now, if the tourer is out of service.

I've ridden the same bike in jeans & t-shirt when I've been on holiday and only had that one with me to run errands.

These town riders who aren't worried about punctures, incidentally, I'm guessing they're not from Manchester - our bike paths double up as glass collection faciities...

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John_the_Monkey [436 posts] 2 years ago
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pepita1 wrote:

How does one go about getting their trusty steed "branded"?

As others have said, the local Police will either have events where they offer the service, or be able to do it. Local bike shops may know of upcoming events as well.

Registering your frame number on a service like Immobilise is a good idea too. I'd also suggest asking the local force what (if any) methods they favour - ours was fairly dismissive of RFID based systems, as the stations didn't have the chip reading equipment on hand (that may have changed, it was a few years ago).

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Carl [135 posts] 2 years ago
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I've never seen a fixie rider in Lycra.

But kudos to PC James for being concerned and checking out his concerns. And for doing it in a manner that left Tim and people here supportive of what he did. Good community policing.

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Colin Peyresourde [1673 posts] 2 years ago
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John_the_Monkey wrote:
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

Why buy an 'expensive' geared racing bike if you're just going to dawdle around town? It was the saddle bag that caught my attention. Useful for punctures, but something that only proper road cyclists would go for (most riders who bike around town aren't worried about getting caught with a flat and don't have them). This guy didn't look like he could tell his top tube from his chain stay.

Possibly because not everyone has multiple bikes?

My road bike was my commuter, errand runner and weekend steed for a couple of years. TBH, it sometimes comes out with a Carradice on the back & me dressed in baggy shorts for the commute even now, if the tourer is out of service.

I've ridden the same bike in jeans & t-shirt when I've been on holiday and only had that one with me to run errands.

These town riders who aren't worried about punctures, incidentally, I'm guessing they're not from Manchester - our bike paths double up as glass collection faciities...

I know how my comment sounds, but you'd have to be there. I doubt he would know what his bike was called. I come from an area of London where they recently dug up loads of stolen bikes, and this chap is not the only person I have my suspicions about.

This guy didn't look, from his cycling, that he spent much time changing gears.

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dunnoh [197 posts] 2 years ago
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I used Bike Register gold kit

You get

Database Registration and Secure online account
Tamper Resistant Warning Label
Logbook (printable via online account)
Permanent Etched Bikeregister ID
Electronic Datatag kit
Free photo upload

Its a proper weeny datatag glued inside the frame. The ink kit is a label with a phone number and an id number. Its quite amazing how it goes on.

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Municipal Waste [238 posts] 2 years ago
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When I went to Enigma's open day a couple of weeks ago they told me that the Police had seen someone riding one of their bikes who didn't fit with the type of person you'd expect to see riding one and because of how well Enigma knew the customer, they actually apprehended the thief and recovered the bike before the owner even knew it was stolen.

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notfastenough [3665 posts] 2 years ago
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That's awesome!

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Iration Wheelers [5 posts] 2 years ago
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Upholding The Rules.

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matthewn5 [723 posts] 2 years ago
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I saw one of the temporary Police bike marking operations and stopped to get my bike done. They use Bike Register and dismissed Immobilise and said that they didn't use RFID tags anymore. They marked the frame invisibly and registered it on BikeRegister, so when I went to the website it I could create a password free and augment the decription with all the details.
They publicise the locations via the web, look out for them as it's certainly worth doing.

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