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Moped gangs targeting London cyclists with bikes worth thousands of pounds

Cyclists near Liverpool Street station (stock image) (Vickie Flores/Lnp/REX)
Cyclists near Liverpool Street station (stock image) (Vickie Flores/Lnp/REX)

London cyclists have told how gangs are forcing them off their high-end bicycles worth thousands of pounds and stealing them to sell.

Victims have often been targeted near Regent’s Park between 5am and 7am, before cars are allowed into the park.

Some riders have resorted to only cycling in groups in an effort to avoid the criminals, who are seemingly working with lists of bikes worth taking, The Times reports.

Scott, 49, said he was riding his £15,000 Pinarello Dogma bicycle to the park at about 5am in mid-December when “two guys idled up to him on a motorbike and one said ‘it’s on the list’.”

Luckily, a car stopped and opened its door, allowing Scott to jump in with his bike.

But the two men “continued to ride around the car shouting ‘get out the f***ing car’” before a security guard showed up and they “took off”.

Similarly, Simon Fox, 54, said he was attacked at about 6.15am in November, when his £5,000 Cannondale bike was stolen.

He said: “Three guys on a motorbike drove past me slowly and looked me up and down. I turned off down a residential street but they turned around the wrong way on a dual carriageway and followed me.

“One grabbed my bike and ran off and the others were pushing me and shoving me.”

Police have reportedly told those targeted that their bikes are being stolen by an Albanian gang which is selling them to Russia, where high-end bikes are difficult to get because of international sanctions.

Several British cycling organisations, including the manufacturer Brompton, will soon send a letter to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley asking for more officers to be stationed in the area.

Last year, the Liberal Democrats said bike theft had “effectively been decriminalised” with more than 90 per cent of reported bike thefts in London left unsolved in 2022.

Of the 18,315 reported to the Met last year, just 136 resulted in a charge or a person being summonsed, making London’s police force the fourth worst for the total number of cases closed in the country, behind only Sussex, Hampshire and the British Transport Police.

Hackney was named the worst borough for bike theft, after a total of 896 bikes were reported stolen in the east London borough between January and July in 2023.

The Clean Cities Campaign, which carried out the research that was published last November, said more than 50 bikes a day were reported stolen across the capital.

But it said the true figure was likely to be far higher as more than half of cyclists do not bother reporting the crime due to woeful clear-up rates.