A Leicester cyclist who wheeled her bike into a shop because she had forgotten her lock says she was targeted by a thief who took advantage of her being distracted to make off with it.
Sunita Trivedi had only owned the bike, a Specialized Allez worth £900 in a similar colour scheme to the one above, for a month when it was stolen at a branch of Holland & Barrett in Oadby on the morning of Sunday 20 October, reports the Leicester Mercury.
The 49-year-old, who works as a teaching assistant, said she thinks that the thief had followed her into the shop and took the bike while she was talking with a member of staff at the health food store.
She told the newspaper: "It's so upsetting. Even a few days on I can't stop thinking about it.
"I realised I didn't have the lock with me so I asked the lady in the shop if I could bring my bike in with me for safety. She was lovely about it and said I could.
"A minute or so later we heard the door open, we looked and saw a middle aged man walk out.
"Instinctively I thought about my bike. We both quickly moved towards the door. She thought about theft from her store. I noticed my bike was gone. I was devastated. I've only had it a month,” she continued.
"I chased outside and saw him getting on my bike and he began to pedal away toward the A6. I ran after him along the Parade but he got faster and faster and there was no way I could catch up.
"It's just shocking. My bike wasn't even near the doorway, it was around the corner. He must have been watching me and waited a few moments and followed me inside. It's all really unsettling.
"I've been a keen cyclist for years but I've been getting more serious about it recently because I wanted to challenge myself more. Getting the new bike was part of that.
"I recently joined a cycling group and I've ridden to raise money for women's cancer charities."
The shop’s supervisor, Connie Sabra, commented: "The lady was very upset, so I did what I could to comfort her. It was all so fast that this person must have been watching her and waited before following her into the shop.
"When she realised what had happened she chased him and screamed at him to stop, but he kept on riding it and she had no chance of catching up with him.
"This was a quiet Sunday morning," she added. "It's outrageous that he has done this to this lady. He obviously followed her into the shop and saw that she was distracted and helped himself to her bike."
Leicestershire Police are investigating the theft, and anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.