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How low can you get? Callous thief steals bike from injured rider after car crash

"Some people would chip the gold fillings out of your teeth" says victim...

A cyclist from Leeds has slammed the "absolutely disgraceful" thief who took his £1,700 bike while he lay injured in the road after being hit by a car.

Shane Fitzsimons, 55, suffered a broken wrist, arm, collar bone and rib when he was hit by a 4x4 in Bramley.

As he lay in the road, dazed and semi-conscious, his Saracen Ariel mountain bike was stolen.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It’s absolutely disgraceful. There are some people who, if you laid there long enough, would chip the gold fillings out of your teeth.”

The crash happened when Mr Fitzsimons, who works for an advertising company, was shopping on his bike.

A number of people stopped at the scene, but that didn't deter the brazen thief.

Mr Fitzsimons said: “As I was lying there in the road I saw this guy on the bike. I was in so much shock I couldn’t say anything and he rode off.”

The damage to his arm was sufficiently serious that he has not yet returned to work after the crash on August 25.

He believes the bike is still on the Broadlea estate.

“It’s important to me to get it back,” he said. “It’s worth nearly as much as my car.”

Sgt Mo Gother, of the inner west neighbourhood policing team, said: “It’s appalling that someone would steal a bicycle while its owner was lying seriously injured after a road traffic collision.

“We carried out extensive enquiries to try to trace the suspect but have been unable to identify him. CCTV showed a male wheeling the bike away up Broadlea Hill but the footage was not of sufficient quality to identify him.

“There were some names suggested initially for people who were said to have the bike but these were followed up and eliminated from the enquiry.

“Although some time has passed since the incident we would welcome any new information from the community about who took the bike or its current whereabouts.”

Sgt Gother can be contacted by calling the Leeds neighbourhood policing team on 101.

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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