At about 2.50pm today I witnessed someone's bike being stolen from outside Tesco on the Old Kent Road.
I was walking from the entrance to the cash points when I noticed two young white males stealing a bicycle which was locked to the railings. One of the teenagers was on a bike himself and he pulled a big metal lock cutter out of his rucksack, swiftly cut the bike lock off, then the other teenager jumped on their new bike and they both cycled away towards Dunton Road.
It was too fast for me to think of what to do. I went and told the security guard at Tesco, but he just said that because it wasn't locked in the designated bike area they couldn't do anything. I feel incredibly sorry for the person whose bike it was. I wanted to post this to try to persuade anyone who leaves their bike at Tesco to lock it in the designated area at least. I don't know if that would actually make a difference, but it would be better than leaving it chained to the railings. The thieves stole the bike so easily and quickly - it is such a shame that people who do that will never be caught.
Does anyone have any good suggestions for what to do in that situation? I feel so awful for not being able to do anything to stop it happening.
As far as I know if you call the police when you see a crime actually happening it falls into a specific category which theoretically produces an on the spot response. So I suppose that dialling 999 as quickly as possible might have been the best thing to do. If it were my bike that had gone I'd have been heartened by your posting - good to know that a stranger cared and wanted to help.
I had my phone out and actually started dialing the police, but by that time they were riding off! I then wasn't sure if it was worth bothering the police about. I also tried waiting around a bit for the person whose bike it was to suggest phoning the police to file a report if they wanted me to, but they didn't show up and I couldn't wait all day!
I do hope that the person whose bike it was does read this as at least they will know what happened. If they want me to file a report (for their insurance maybe?) then I will be happy to. I am now wondering actually whether it would be a good idea to file a police report anyway for their statistics or something?
when they were building City Walk the security Guard left his bike against the fence whilst he was locking the gates-two young white males again one on a bike one walking funnily enough -were going along Long Lane and went to grab the bike literally from behing the guards back. I yelled very loudly "oi leave that bike alone" they were a bit shocked and then everyone was looking at them so they dropped the bike and ran/cycled off
it won't stop the really determined but drawing attention to what they are doing may stop them if they think people have got a good look at them (mind you i am not sure how seriously the police take such thefts!)
Great suggestion, thank you. I think that next time I will try something like that, although it did cross my mind at the time but there weren't that many people around and I didn't want the criminals to turn on me! I am very glad to hear that it worked for you though - well done for doing that!
If your phone has a camera that could be a useful option. I did this with a proper camera when I saw kids round the back of my block of flats fiddling with the bike rack. I shouted down 'Oi!' they all looked up, I took the picture. Never saw them ever again.
Sad i know but it happens.. the thief will prob. get £20 for it locally somewhere and then go buy this crack stone, get high, then low and be back out searching for bkes.
I saw this happen in bays water about 5 years ago, nice summers day, 2 blokes, bought out a cutter from his jacket and cut through the lock with ease.. when i saw this, i started shouting 'oi, thief! thief!' and the both just left the bike and ran... i assumed the bike belonged to someone in the gym downstairs (now some bowling lanes!) so let the staff know... it looked like a very expensive bike too...
so i guess.. as its a busy area.. if you make some noise, they would have just ran away...
don't feel bad thou, at least you put it up here on the forum and people are aware and it might prevent someone from leaving their bikes on the railing.
i was driving home today and i noticed (twice) the police pulling over young males on bikes to check the identity of the bike..
i guess the only way round it, don't lock expensive bikes out and about...