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Man had tried to hold up betting shop in Holborn this morning

The Metropolitan Police are hunting for an armed robber who had been frustrated in his attempted raid on a betting shop – then fired shots as he made his getaway on a bicycle.

According to the London Evening Standard, the man tried to rob the Holborn branch of Ladbrokes at around 8.30am this morning.

He is said to have threatened staff with a gun as he told them to open the shop’s safe.

But when they told him they had no means of doing so, he ran to neighbouring Lincoln’s Inn Fields where he got an a bike to make his escape.

As he did so, two shots were fired – by accident, police believe.

Inspector Andrew Henthorn commented: “The man was told by staff that they could not open the safe and so he ran out.

“He jumped on a bicycle and headed off down Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

“The shots were heard there and so we have sealed off the area and are searching for clues.”

Police were reported to be unclear whether the shots fired were live rounds, but confirmed that the gun was not being aimed at anyone at the time.

Paralegal George Porter, who works in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, told the newspaper: “We are really shocked that this has happened here in rush hour. It is lucky no one was hurt.

“A colleague heard the shots — it is not exactly what you expect on a Monday morning.”

Police say that the suspect is black and was wearing a balaclava as well as a blue or black hooded anorak, and anyone who has information is asked to call the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

We regularly come across stories of thieves using bicycles for their getaway, suited as they are to being able to move quickly through an urban setting in places police cars can’t get to.

Two years ago, we reported how a Freedom of Information request by the BBC had even uncovered three instances of Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme bikes being used by muggers to make their escape.

If nothing else, the fact that a Boris Bike can be seen as a viable getaway vehicle is testament to the changing nature of transport choices in London since the scheme's introduction more than three years ago although it is doubtful whether the Mayor or Transport for London will view this latest incident as an endorsement of their ongoing 'cycling revolution'.

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.

22 comments

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Leviathan [1865 posts] 2 years ago
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Was he seen jumping any red lights? Shocking.

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William Black [193 posts] 2 years ago
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Was he wearing Rapha? If so I hope they throw the book at the walking faux pas.

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KiwiMike [1160 posts] 2 years ago
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Guys - come on. Does Runner's World do stories on every person who flees a crime scene on foot?

Slow news day?

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MartyMcCann [217 posts] 2 years ago
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Would I be right in thinking that car websites run stories like this every time armed robbers make their escape on 4 wheels?

Unless of course his court cases are driving a certain Texan to take extreme measures...!

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Argos74 [383 posts] 2 years ago
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Otis Bragg wrote:

Would I be right in thinking that car websites run stories like this every time armed robbers make their escape on 4 wheels?

Because funny, it is funny, young Jedi. High with this one, the level of fail is. On dual shocks and his knees hitting his chin 120 times a minute, my money is. Herh herh herh.

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sm [375 posts] 2 years ago
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We need some CCTV here. Would love it if it turns out he was wearing high vis, cleats and buff before climbing on his Pinarello. What? Hoodie and BMX? Oh, so not really cycling news then?!

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Northernbike [229 posts] 2 years ago
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Couldn't the police find him on strava and see where his segment finishes or is my lack of familiarity with bike GPS websites and bank robberies showing through here?

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fatty [77 posts] 2 years ago
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This isn't cycling news and the story shouldn't be on this site.

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Tony Farrelly [2868 posts] 2 years ago
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fatty wrote:

This isn't cycling news and the story shouldn't be on this site.

Actually that's my choice not yours

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Simon_MacMichael [2448 posts] 2 years ago
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It's a police witness appeal. Among other things, we have a good few site users who commute into Central London and who may have noticed someone wearing a balaclava while pedalling furiously, as it were.

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William Black [193 posts] 2 years ago
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tony_farrelly wrote:
fatty wrote:

This isn't cycling news and the story shouldn't be on this site.

Actually that's my choice not yours

Is that called customer service?

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fatty [77 posts] 2 years ago
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Indeed it is your choice, and as a consumer I'm pointing out that it's not worth reading on this occasion. It's not a cycling story.

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GoingRoundInCycles [133 posts] 2 years ago
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fatty wrote:

Indeed it is your choice, and as a consumer I'm pointing out that it's not worth reading on this occasion. It's not a cycling story.

Well as a consumer I'm pointing out that it was worth reading and is a cycling story.

It can't be easy trying to run a newspaper that pleases absolutely everyone at all times. Why don't you give it a go, fatty?

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scrapper [71 posts] 2 years ago
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Is this the moment that the rest of the (albeit criminal in this instance) world realises that for convenience and speed, you cant beat a bike !
That makes it a cycling story !!

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kie7077 [857 posts] 2 years ago
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fatty wrote:

Indeed it is your choice, and as a consumer I'm pointing out that it's not worth reading on this occasion. It's not a cycling story.

No, you're getting it all wrong, Road.cc know that we're all a bunch of red-light jumping criminal Londoners, and that's why this story is posted.

Nice try but we don't rat on our mates, fools.  3

PS, was he wearing tights and top or bib-shorts? I'm having difficulty deciding which one of my mates done this.

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ribena [178 posts] 2 years ago
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Boris bikes as getaway vehicles? Are you sure they weren't ram raiding?

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Nixster [285 posts] 2 years ago
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Felon is cearly a muppet anyway - I worked in a betting shop as a student and the amount of cash around on a Saturday afternoon was amazing. By Monday morning of course its all in the bank.
Mind you, given the price of a decent road bike these days I do have some sympathy with seeking alternative sources of funding...  39

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FluffyKittenofT... [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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There might be an upside.

if motorists start to fear that cyclists might be "packing heat" they might start to show more respect.

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OldRidgeback [2566 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:

It's a police witness appeal. Among other things, we have a good few site users who commute into Central London and who may have noticed someone wearing a balaclava while pedalling furiously, as it were.

Sounds like he might get a furious cycling charge to go with the others then?

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fatty [77 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:

It's a police witness appeal. Among other things, we have a good few site users who commute into Central London and who may have noticed someone wearing a balaclava while pedalling furiously, as it were.

Thanks for providing the editorial context for the story.

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OldRidgeback [2566 posts] 2 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:

It's a police witness appeal. Among other things, we have a good few site users who commute into Central London and who may have noticed someone wearing a balaclava while pedalling furiously, as it were.

And on that note - not sure how many N Ireland riders there are in here but anyway:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/05/bmx-new-ira-murder-northe...

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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ironic that cycling is becoming such an effective method of transportation that even criminals are using it