Thieves who used a portable angle grinder to cut through a lock and steal an Urban Arrow cargo bike in south east London were caught on camera, with video showing one of them riding away on it.
Footage posted by Twitter user Ashleigh Carrol on Wednesday evening showed the criminals making short work of gainincuttting the lock of the cargo bike, parked next tio a Bikehangar in East Dulwich, which had a Lime hire e-bike propped up next to it, with one of them then riding away on the Urban Arrow Cargo Bike.
Addressing her tweet to the Metropolitan Police, she wrote: “Here is a video of two men stealing a bike in East Dulwich, just before 5.30pm today.
“It happened on Crawthew Grove. Another lady was on the phone to you whilst I filmed them but I had to go before you arrived. Let me know if I can help in any other way.”
While the original tweet and accompanying footage has been deleted from Twitter, police confirmed they had received the footage, which was also saved and uploaded to Twitter by road.cc reader Freedom-2017.
Good evening Ashleigh,
Thank you for making us aware of this. We have located the original call and have sent this footage to the relevant department.
— Met Contact Centre (@MetCC) February 22, 2023
The Video Tweet was later Deleted, but, I saved it, here is the video. pic.twitter.com/F4uJspqXQj
— Freedom-2017 (@Cycle2Freedom) February 24, 2023
While initially it appeared that the thieves forced open the Bikehangar to steal the bike, Cyclehoop – the London-based company that makes the storage units – got in touch with us to clarify the situation, saying that wasn’t the case.
“The Bike in question was not inside the Bikehangar, and the thieves cut through the lock as opposed to the structure,” the company told us.
“The Bikehangar has been inspected by our maintenance team and has some minor cosmetic damage, but other than that, it is secure and all bikes inside the structure are fine,” Bikehoop added.
The episode prompted a discussion on the social network of how seriously the force takes the issue of cycle crime, with one Labour councillor highlighting his own experience.
Retweeting the post, Richard Leeming, who represents Dulwich Village on Southwark Council, wrote: “I had two electric cargo bikes stolen last year. Both crimes recorded in hi-def CCTV.”
But he said that police “have taken no action in either case, despite saying they recognise the alleged perpetrator in the second case. They haven’t even questioned the man. This is condoning crime,” he added.
I had two electric cargo bikes stolen last year. Both crimes recorded in hi-def CCTV. @metpoliceuk have taken no action in either case, despite saying they recognise the alleged perpetrator in the second case. They haven't even questioned the man. This is condoning crime. https://t.co/H5bWMGeJnZ
— Richard Leeming (@RM_Leeming) February 23, 2023
Other Twitter users said that the theft underlined the need for secure storage for cargo bikes, which have become increasingly popular among young families in recent years – something that, unfortunately, also makes them attractive to thieves, and we have previously written about thefts of such cycles a number of times.
This is why we need more secure storage for E-Bikes and E-Cargo bikes. Gutted for whose Urban Arrow bike was stolen here in broad daylight 😣 https://t.co/xSyjXIHowU
— Karim Dia Toubajie (@karimtoubajie) February 22, 2023
This latest theft also highlights something we’ve seen in a number of videos shot by members of the public, namely the use by bike thieves of portable angle grinders to cut through locks, often fully aware that they are being filmed – but continuing to go about their criminal activity regardless of that, although one thief was thwarted while doing so last year in Herne Hill, a mile or so away from where the latest incident happened.
Inevitably, some questioned why the Twitter user who posted the original footage chose to film the theft rather than attempt to intervene – criticism that was behind her decision to delete the tweet – and which led one person to state the very obvious reason why it was better to gather evidence from the police than try to physically stop the thieves.
That angle grinder they’re using works on flesh and bone as well you know.
— paul morgan (@pauldmorgan) February 23, 2023
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.