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CyclingMikey's Brompton stolen during forceful Hyde Park robbery — masked thief threatens colleague with a knife

The unique-coloured folder was being used to help a special needs child learn to cycle moments before a masked thief threatened a colleague with a knife before making off with the bike from Hyde Park

CyclingMikey, real name Mike van Erp, was this week the victim of a frightening bike theft which saw his Brompton forcefully taken from a colleague by a hooded man threatening to use a knife, moments after the pair had been teaching a special needs child to ride the bicycle in Hyde Park.

The road safety campaigner who uploads videos of law-breaking drivers to YouTube, and can count Guy Ritchie and Chris Eubank amongst the notable offenders he has caught, told us him and his colleague finished cycling and left the folder "some distance away".

While Mikey and the young child were gone, the offender, with their face covered by a hood and mask, also on a bike approached his colleague, "shoved him to the ground and took the bike."

"The thief put the bike on the handlebars of his bike," Mikey explained. "My colleague gave chase. The thief threatened him with a knife so thankfully my colleague desisted and the bike thief rode off.

"The Royal Parks Police responded within minutes, and I left my colleague to take the young special needs lad home safely. I went with the police and we attempted to follow the trackers on the bike."

The Brompton was fitted with three trackers: an Apple AirTag, a Tile, and an Invoxia GPS tracker, and the Royal Parks Police were "super nice, and blue-lighted me to the first tracker location. That was a bust — the thief had found the tracker inside the 3D printed reflector I'd installed on the seatpost. He removed it and left it by Linhope Street, north of Marylebone Street.

> CyclingMikey ends up on car bonnet during confrontation with angry motorist

"Two other police cars turned up, one of whom stopped to check the pub CCTV (Sir John Balcombe Marylebone), but didn't see the thief as he must have come in from the other end of the street.

"Also an unmarked car with plainclothes cops, they WhatsApped my photo around the other officers, and we then tracked the Invoxia GPS tracker to a block of flats on Lodge Road. Couldn't find anything there, and gave up the chase after some looking around.

"The officers did manage to check all the stairs and corridors of that block of flats. My GPS tracker is still there, but we couldn't find it. I went back yesterday, and still couldn't find the tracker. It's either been dumped, or is on the bike in someone's flat. I also had a Tile tracker, that was dumped nearby on Lisson Grove.

"It's an unusual colour Brompton, with a Brooks saddle and P-type handlebars, and corn blue and ivory frame. It's currently fitted with tan wall Schwalbe marathon racers."

 Mikey's new GoPro Hero 10 and Berghaus paclite rain jacket were also on the bike, which cost £1,835 new, when it was taken.

"I'd just replaced most of the drivetrain and the front mudguard. The front mudguard was damaged by a driver assaulting me in January when he got angry with my having videoed him WhatsApping. That's another story...

"There are so many other deserving bike thefts across the UK every day too. My story isn't anything special."

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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12 comments

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 2 years ago
0 likes

Mike, mate. They should give you the keys to the city. You should run for high office. You get my vote and support. Always. Thank you.

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Calc | 2 years ago
1 like

If I'm reading this correctly, this was an armed robbery with a lethal weapon.  ie a knife.  The building where the perpetrator lives has been identified.  The Police only need to conduct a door knock to find the bike and therefore identify the perpetrator.  They would then arrest the perpetrator.  However, they didn't do a door knock and so the armed robber has not been apprehended.  Am I missing something????

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Rendel Harris replied to Calc | 2 years ago
0 likes

Not excusing police inaction but if it's a big block of flats (I know Lodge Road, it's round the back of Lord's cricket ground, if it's the block I suspect it's at least 50+ flats) a door knock would use a lot of time/personnel and the perpetrator would almost certainly be forewarned not to answer even if they were there. Unfortunately it would probably just be a waste of scant resources.

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Grahamd replied to Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:

Not excusing police inaction but if it's a big block of flats (I know Lodge Road, it's round the back of Lord's cricket ground, if it's the block I suspect it's at least 50+ flats) a door knock would use a lot of time/personnel and the perpetrator would almost certainly be forewarned not to answer even if they were there. Unfortunately it would probably just be a waste of scant resources.

And don't forget they might have to climb some stairs.

 

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Rome73 | 2 years ago
4 likes

have a good news story - so hopefully this theft will have a good end. A friend of mine's Brompton was stolen. She put it on social media - pictures, frame number etc and spread the word. And she was contacted by a Dr in Edinburgh who saw the pictures on a Brompton forum and who had bought it. He contacted her and returned the bike and even took the financial hit. 

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Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
3 likes

Can someone create a tracker that once 'alarmed' any attempt to remove it results in a dye explosion during the attempt. Would be nice if thief redecorated the interior of their flat and themselves in luminescent green. 

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JustTryingToGet... replied to Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
2 likes
Muddy Ford wrote:

Can someone create a tracker that once 'alarmed' any attempt to remove it results in a dye explosion during the attempt. Would be nice if thief redecorated the interior of their flat and themselves in luminescent green. 

That's a great idea. Make it a screamer as well.

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chrisonabike replied to Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
2 likes

Like this one?

Way I see it there are issues of a) shielding of signal vs. concealability / removal protection b) range and c) precision.

Obviously if your bike goes in to a truck out of town then into a container it's likely gone. But a challenge often inspires creativity!

I know VanMoof (possibly others now too) say that if they can't get your bike back they'll give you a new one.  (Info on how it works and IIRC road.cc did a test...) Obviously you're paying for that though!

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Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
5 likes

Interesting that he mentions the 3rd tracker. I would have kept that one quiet. 
 

presumably also an experienced thief given the finding of the other 2 tags. 

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Sriracha replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
7 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Interesting that he mentions the 3rd tracker. I would have kept that one quiet.

canny to keep schtum about the fourth one!

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EddyBerckx replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
2 likes
Secret_squirrel wrote:

Interesting that he mentions the 3rd tracker. I would have kept that one quiet. 
 

presumably also an experienced thief given the finding of the other 2 tags. 

It's good of him to let people know the pro's and con's of each tracker tbf. Ultimately as he found out...when something gets taken to a block of flats with potentally hundreds of flats there...what can you or the police actually do? 

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Sriracha replied to EddyBerckx | 2 years ago
1 like

Make enquiries, knock on doors. Chances are the bike is in someone's hallway.

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