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Brave bike shop owner rammed and threatened with crowbars as he foils MTB theft

Thieves rammed Chris Hart with a van and brandished crowbars but eventually fled empty-handed

A bike shop owner managed to stop thieves driving away with more than £10,000 of stolen bikes, despite them ramming him with their van and threatening him with crowbars.

Chris Hart, who owns Noah’s Ark near Stroud, was alerted to the break in by his security systems at 4am on Thursday morning. He rushed to his store where he found thieves making off with five mountain bikes.

He blocked their van with his, causing two of the four to threaten him with crowbars. Fortunately all four decided to run away down the A419 London Road and the nearby towpath, leaving their 53-reg white Ford Transit behind.

“We have got all the bikes - Noah’s has a lot of security measures with night watchmen and CCTV,” Chris told Stroud Life.

“Before I even got there I knew there was a van parked on the bridge and that there were four of them. They were about to leave and I parked the Nissan about an inch from the van.

“They rammed my truck but they could not get the speed up because they had to come uphill. They gave up and jumped out. Two had crowbars but they ran off - two went down the towpath and the other two along the road. The police got here pretty quickly but they didn’t find them. However there appears to be quite a lot of evidence left behind.”

The bikes being targeted were all found intact but scratched; a £1,200 Whyte 901, a £2,500 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo, a £2,300 Whyte 130 S, a £2,000 Cannondale Flash AL1, and a Specialized Status 1 worth £2,800.

A Gloucestershire police spokesman said: “Police were called to a reported burglary at a bicycle shop in Bourne Mills, London Road, Brimscombe, Stroud at about 4.20am.

“The owner reported that a van was parked outside and four males were reported to be inside the shop. The suspects escaped from the building and a van was rammed into the owners’ car, after which the suspects abandoned their vehicle and made off on foot.

“A number of stolen mountain bikes were found in the van, which has been detained by police.

“Police continue to search for the offenders, and no arrests have been made at this time. No one is believed to have been injured.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident 44 of August 14.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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