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“There's more to this story” – Surrey Quays bike theft victim says security staff are “complacent”

Street performer Tim Michell’s e-bike was stolen after security staff made him lock it outside rather than bring it into the store

A man who had his electric bike stolen at Surrey Quays shopping centre in South London has accused security staff there of being “complacent” when it comes to cycle theft.

Tim Michell, whose bike was stolen in September 2019, got in touch with us after our story on Sunday showing thieves stealing a Trek e-bike by cutting through the lock with a portable angle grinder.

> “Possible ID” on member of Surrey Quays angle-grinder bike theft gang passed on to police

“There is a lot more to this story,” said Michell, who is originally from Canada and has a houseboat at South Dock, close to the shopping centre.

He claimed that “Security have been complacent over the thefts to the degree of forcing bikes to be locked there.”

Michell is a street performer who has taken his Timothy Terror (aka Stickman) act around the world, and regularly performed in London’s Covent Garden, with fellow entertainers there raising money after a motorcycle crash.

He used the money to buy an e-bike to enable him to tow around his trailer with the various props that he uses during his act, including chainsaws and knives that he juggles with.

He had been leaving his e-bike with a friendly security guard at the Surrey Quays branch of Tesco for around a month prior to it being stolen on the weekend of 21/22 September 2019.

“I stopped off at this mall and went into Tesco where a friendly security guard used to let me leave my bike with him, since he knew of the thefts outside and didn't what to see my bike stolen.

“He wasn’t there and instead I was escorted by five security staff, both from the mall and Tesco and told I had to leave the bike outside if I wanted food and to use the toilet.

“It was stolen within 10 minutes. The police were called and security both from the mall and Tesco refused to provide video footage to police.

“To this day they've refused to acknowledge the incident, or even return a phone call.

“Needless to say the £1,500 bike that was stolen was more than performers had raised to help. I had several more months off work, and had to replace the bike before I could work again,” he added.

We contacted the Metropolitan Police about the theft, and were told: “When all available avenues of enquiry were exhausted, the case was closed pending further investigative opportunities becoming available.

“Local enquiries were undertaken by officers, there was no CCTV available and no suspects were identified.”

Simon joined 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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