Mere hours after Cambridge carer Emeka Basil had bought his bike, he was knocked off it when a car turned left into him. Shocked and injured, he phoned his wife to come and collect him, but while he was directing her thieves took the bike, even though it was broken.
Basil paid £100 for the yellow road bike at a Trumpington car boot sale. Later the same day, he was cycling down Hills Road when he was hit by a car. He told the Cambridge News that the car had been turning left into Coronation Street.
"While I was cycling back home I collided with a car because he was turning to the left. It was really terrifying because I had pains all over me so I was trying to pull myself together and I couldn't think anything but to get out of that place."
Basil at first tried to get a lift home with the driver involved, but they turned down his request, saying that the bike wouldn’t fit in the car. He therefore tried to phone his wife, Cheenee.
"My bike was broken apart so I moved it into a corner of Coronation Street where I could ring my wife and get her to come pick me up. I went to the road to direct her where I was for about five minutes and when I came back I couldn't find the bike anymore."
Basil has been to see his GP about continued leg and back pain and also says it is not the first time he has had a bike stolen.
"It's still annoying me now. I think about the money I spent and the bruises on my body. I don't even have money to buy another – I thought it would last me two or three years because it was a good bike. I never dreamed I'd buy a bike that price – £100 is expensive for me.
"Every time I get a bike it gets stolen but I'm still trying to search for the bike because it was precious to me."
Sergeant Nick Ashton Jones, of Cambridgeshire police, appealed for information.
"This was a callous crime, considering the victim has just been involved in a collision and was trying to make arrangements to get picked up. It happened in a busy residential area so I'm hoping someone saw the crime take place. I would urge anyone with information to contact me on 101."
Despite a crackdown in recent months, police say Cambridge's bike theft rate is soaring along with its population. New data released by police revealed that the city averages 17.56 bike thefts per 1,000 people. Between April 1 last year and the end of February this year, 2,138 bikes were stolen, up from 1,809 in the same period in 2013/14 and 1,980 for 2012/13.