A new method for stealing bikes...

daveyl
Posts: 10
Joined: 30 Sep 2008, 3:02pm

A new method for stealing bikes...

Postby daveyl » 7 Nov 2012, 4:59pm

Obviously, this is not a [i]how to[/i] guide, but something I experienced recently that I thought I should flag.

My girlfriend and I had cycled over to a friends house one evening, and locked our bikes up (with decent locks) to some railings outside a nearby house, there really weren't many other options. Several hours later, we leave and go to unlock our bikes and realise that my girlfriends bike has an [i]extra[/i] lock on it - a thickish cable around the top tube, attached to the railings.

We rang local police, who were about as helpful as you'd imagine, basically warned us that if we left the bike someone might come along in the dead of night, break our locks and unlock theirs - which is what we suspected - and that if we started to break the other lock, we could be liable for damage to property.

We went ahead with breaking the lock, basically very slow progress with a borrowed, fairly dull junior hacksaw. We were about halfway through when a man approached and asked what we were doing - we explained, and he said that it was his lock, his house we were outside and he had put it on there objecting to the fact we had used his railings. We apologised and said that a note would've sufficed and we wouldn't do it again. He got a bit angry and tried to demand cash for his lock, we flatly denied. His whole demeanour was suspect, and confirmed in my mind that after he was persuaded to remove his lock, he simply carried on walking up the street rather than entering his house.

Now this may well be common knowledge for some folk, but it's the first time I've come across this, and to be honest, I find it hard to know what can be done about it. I'm just glad that a) it wasn't a big d-lock and b) there were two of us when 'the owner' appeared.

Has this happened to anyone else, or is there anything that people feel could be done about these kind of actions?

Cheers,
Dave

irc
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Re: A new method for stealing bikes...

Postby irc » 7 Nov 2012, 5:04pm

If it happened in Scotland it is arguably illegal. It is similar to clamping cars which is illegal for anyone without lawful authority. It was held in a test case that private clamping was theft or extortion.

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MikewsMITH2
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Re: A new method for stealing bikes...

Postby MikewsMITH2 » 7 Nov 2012, 5:32pm

Clamping on private land is illegal in England now (not sure about Wales and NI) . I don't know whether it applies to bicycles though. Private clamping on public land was always illegal and the police should have acted. However it is bad manners to lock your bike to someone's railings and not good for the image of cyclists.
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daveyl
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Joined: 30 Sep 2008, 3:02pm

Re: A new method for stealing bikes...

Postby daveyl » 7 Nov 2012, 5:50pm

Agreed, it was bad manners, I certainly admit that, and won't be doing it again.
Interesting to the case see it from a clamping angle, and might be worthwhile mentioning if, heaven forbid, something similar happens again, it should provoke a slightly more appropriate response from the police. Cheers folks.

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A new method for stealing bikes...

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Nov 2012, 6:08pm

daveyl wrote:... Has this happened to anyone else, or is there anything that people feel could be done about these kind of actions? ...


This method of stealing bikes has been mentioned on here several times before. I've no idea how common it is.

As for the legality of somebody doing it as a way of protecting their railings from parked bikes, I don't know (same reasons as current "bike leaning on a wall" thread.)

For anybody in your exact situation ie confronted by the affronted owner of the lock, I'd recommend calling the police immediately. From your post they were aware of the extra lock as a way of stealing a bike and they might be interested to meet a possible bike thief. Whether they would attend is a matter of conjecture, of course, based partly on the prevalence of this type of crime in the locality, but it might at least give a clue about the good faith or otherwise of the owner of the other lock.

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Ugly
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Joined: 14 Jul 2009, 8:34am

Re: A new method for stealing bikes...

Postby Ugly » 24 Dec 2012, 5:27pm

Good friends? and you had to leave your bikes outside!

tonythompson
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Re: A new method for stealing bikes...

Postby tonythompson » 24 Dec 2012, 6:28pm

very common way of stealing bikes. So if you are in areas where it is prevalent, carry a fully charged Dremel and steel cutting discs. I recently went through my own 1/2" wire cable lock in seconds when the lock jammed! (Hmmm I had to go home and get it first though.)

I certainly wouldn't think twice about cutting though someone's lock if they did that to me.
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