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South London cyclist chases after muggers and gets his bike back

Police say victim sustained head and facial injuries during attack in Southwark Park

A cyclist in South London who was mugged by three masked men on bikes chased after them and managed to retrieve his bicycle, which they had stolen.

The Metropolitan Police say that they were called to the incident in Southwark Park in Rotherhithe at approximately 1905 hours last Monday 24 October.

The 43-year-old victim told officers who attended the scene that he was riding his e-bike when the three men stopped him, pushing him off his bike and stealing it.

He chased after them and, with the assistance of a member of the public, managed to recover his bike.

Officers say that the suspects, believed to be in their late teens and dressed in black, with their faces covered, then fled in the direction of Southwark Park Road.

No arrests have been made to date and police, who are continuing with their investigation, added that the victim sustained head and facial injuries during the robbery.

Anyone who has information is requested to call police on 101 quoting reference CAD 5833/24Oct, .

Alternatively, information may be given to the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Southwark Park is less than a quarter of a mile from South Bermondsey station and Millwall FC’s New Den stadium, separated from them by the main railway line out of London Bridge.

In recent weeks we’ve reported on a number of incidents in the area in which cyclists have been attacked, with some having their bikes stolen.
Earlier this month, a Deliveroo employee was attacked by a teenager wielding a knife after the pair collided with each other while cycling in Southwark.

Just last Saturday a road.cc reader was robbed of his bike and mobile phone on the C10 Quietway route in Bermondsey by two men wearing balaclavas, one of whom threatened him with a knife.

> Cyclist threatened with "foot-long knife" during latest south London bike robbery

“Shocking as it was, I am particularly annoyed at finding out that this is a hotspot and there does not seem to be any meaningful warning signs or police prevention,” he told us.

The issue has been ongoing for months and in September, we reported that a graffitied warning telling cyclists: “Be aware, robbery and theft on this route” had been sprayed onto the surface of C10 near Millwall’s ground.

> Cyclists report multiple muggings and thefts on London cycle route

In July, British Cycling said it was “deeply concerned” by the rise in bikejackings across south London, with policy manager Nick Chamberlin telling members to “think carefully about the rides they have planned.”

> "Deeply concerned" British Cycling steps in following spate of violent bikejackings across south London

He wrote: “We have heard from lots of clubs and individuals who are rightly very concerned about going out for a ride. It is extremely hard to discuss these sorts of issues without causing panic and the last thing any of us would wish is to deter people from cycling this summer through a fear of being attacked.

“The sad reality however is that when these spikes in violent crime occur, and while we try to understand the pattern of incidents better, it is prudent for individuals, clubs and groups to discuss these concerns together and think carefully about the rides they have planned.

“As with the incidents that occurred in Richmond Park last year, we know that by working together as a cycling community to quickly pass relevant information to the police we can support them to quickly and effectively tackle the issue.”

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.

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8 comments

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robike | 1 year ago
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Do e-bikes have safety cut-outs like outboard motors - if riders keep it attached before them selves (in a safe manner) it will disable the bike if you're separated from it.

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Hirsute replied to robike | 1 year ago
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If you stop pedalling, the assist stops.

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Sriracha replied to Hirsute | 1 year ago
1 like

Given the context, I presume robike was thinking of some interlock that would prevent the electrics working (or even use them to lock the transmission) in the event the (lawful) rider and bike were separated, rather than a safety-related cut-out.

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Rendel Harris replied to robike | 1 year ago
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robike wrote:

Do e-bikes have safety cut-outs like outboard motors - if riders keep it attached before them selves (in a safe manner) it will disable the bike if you're separated from it.

None of which I am aware, some do have ignition keys but even those are quite rare. Many do link up with phone apps so I'm sure it would be possible to disable the bike if the phone got a specified distance away, which wouldn't be a bad feature, although if a couple of knife-wielding thugs were to hold me up for my bike I'd sooner they just took it than come back and force me to hand over my phone as well... maybe if the bike had some form of mobile data connection (they are all Bluetooth as far as I know) one could disable the bike when it was a fair distance away, making the thieves abandon it without coming back to take revenge, and then one could go and collect it at leisure with the police or a couple of large mates. Definitely potential there I think!

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Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

Not trying to victim blame in any way, but I personally wouldn't risk Southwark Park after dark (surprised it wasn't locked up, usually is at sunset), gorgeous as it is in the day; same goes for any London park really except for the central ones (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Battersea) which have well-lit throughways, are generally well populated until a relatively advanced hour and usually have a police presence.

On another note, I know certain folks hereabouts object to "stealth" ebikes but if thieves are going to be targetting ebikes it seems a big argument in favour of having one that looks as close to an unpowered version as possible.

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Safety | 1 year ago
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It does appear ebike thefts are the "in crime" due to the risk reward equation. I recall some years ago a joke in Cycling Weekly where a bike thief got a large sentence because there was a mobile phone in the saddlebag.
So it is possible (if unlikely) for the government to change with policy or sentencing guideline changes. As they did then with mobile thefts.

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Rome73 replied to Safety | 1 year ago
1 like

I can confirm (from experience) that eBike theft is particularly problematic in London recently. Whilst I have not had one stolen I know of many, many that have. I caught two masked men trying to steal my Reise & Muller but they ran off when I confronted them. 

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Sriracha replied to Rome73 | 1 year ago
1 like

I suppose these stolen ebikes are rapidly sold on to buyers willing to ask no questions, bundled with an Alibaba charger. Which later results in a fire.

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