Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 7244
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby 661-Pete » 30 Sep 2017, 2:52pm

Debs wrote:Has anyone here got one fitted?

Do they actually work?
I think there are at least two problems with that gadget:
1. "This hooks up to an app (available for iPhone and Android) which you activate when you lock your bike. If there’s any movement, you’ll be alerted and Sherlock says the GPS tracking is accurate to within 5 metes." So it wouldn't be any use on a train!
2. Now that the picture in the article shows so clearly how the device is mounted, a professional thief would have no difficulty in locating and jettisoning it. An opportunist thief, like in my case, might be fooled though - for a while.

One tip I recall being told years ago: with a conventional bike, if you can't lock it to any part of the train, for whatever reason, pass a lock around the frame and front wheel. Reason: it's much more difficult to manoeuvre a bike with front wheel immobilised, without attracting attention, than with rear wheel. In the latter case, the thief needs only to grasp the saddle and lift the rear wheel an inch off the ground, and could then give the impression that he's innocently wheeling the bike.

But either method would have deterred the opportunist. As I've said before .... lesson learned.
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

MikeF
Posts: 3433
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby MikeF » 30 Sep 2017, 11:00pm

Good news, Pete, you retrieved your bike, but what a hassle. Perhaps a warning for us.

For the benefit of those not aware of Southern electrostar trains as on the Eastbourne line the bike racks are in the seating area of one of the carriages.
This also applies to the diesel units used on the Uckfield and Brighton-Ashford lines. The doors are marked with red (cycles disabled) and there is one per unit and units can be (2 for the diesel ones), 3,4 or 5 car so cycle spaces per train will vary with the number and type of units that make up a particular train. They are always next to the disabled area and toilet. However if those seats are occupied I just strap the bike to the rack and stand next to it. (journeys not that long!) I'm not that sure how the bikes are meant to be fixed and on the diesel units it appears the bikes are supposed to be supported by the crossbars. Does anyone know?
However if I hadn't found the correct door in time I might have done as Pete did. I'm not sure what kind of lock could be used as I don't think there's anything to lock a bike to. Cable lock to the wheels may be sufficient or else check it before each station if you can't keep it in view.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

User avatar
RickH
Posts: 3688
Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby RickH » 30 Sep 2017, 11:09pm

I, personally, think it wise not to lock the bike to any of the train structure where there are notices saying not to. On some trains there can be emergency/safety equipment stowed (not always obviously as it may be behind a door/hatch).

PH
Posts: 5975
Joined: 21 Jan 2007, 12:31am
Location: Derby
Contact:

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby PH » 1 Oct 2017, 11:08am

Well done Pete for getting your bike back.
This is the third story I've heard in a year after never hearing any before, is there an increase in bike thefts from trains? Is it due to the popularity of cycling and bikes therefore becoming easier to sell? Or maybe something else?
I used to be a bit casual about leaving my bike unseen on the train, sometimes travelling the length of the country without having sight of it, but no more. I lock the front wheel to the frame and it's in sight at every stop, or if it's in the guards van I'll step onto the platform to watch the door. It's a shame and in many ways spoils the pleasure of travelling by train.

foxychick
Posts: 212
Joined: 5 Jul 2012, 12:05am

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby foxychick » 1 Oct 2017, 1:09pm

Yes PH could not agree with you more you are on edge all the bloody time when travelling with a bike, not only bikes though suitcase theft is also a big problem on trains and they tend to work in pairs on short journeys, in some of the major london stations suitcases have been stolen even before the train has departed as the thieves know that you are focused on getting a seat. Sign of the times i am afraid even if it is locked or bolted down some scumbag will try to steal it rather than do a honest days work.

User avatar
hondated
Posts: 2088
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 7:59am
Location: Eastbourne

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby hondated » 2 Oct 2017, 4:22pm

MikeF wrote:Good news, Pete, you retrieved your bike, but what a hassle. Perhaps a warning for us.

For the benefit of those not aware of Southern electrostar trains as on the Eastbourne line the bike racks are in the seating area of one of the carriages.
This also applies to the diesel units used on the Uckfield and Brighton-Ashford lines. The doors are marked with red (cycles disabled) and there is one per unit and units can be (2 for the diesel ones), 3,4 or 5 car so cycle spaces per train will vary with the number and type of units that make up a particular train. They are always next to the disabled area and toilet. However if those seats are occupied I just strap the bike to the rack and stand next to it. (journeys not that long!) I'm not that sure how the bikes are meant to be fixed and on the diesel units it appears the bikes are supposed to be supported by the crossbars. Does anyone know?
However if I hadn't found the correct door in time I might have done as Pete did. I'm not sure what kind of lock could be used as I don't think there's anything to lock a bike to. Cable lock to the wheels may be sufficient or else check it before each station if you can't keep it in view.

MikeF like you I am glad Pet got his bike back particularly as I live in Eastbourne but it seems in this instance ignorance is bliss. I say that because I took my bike over to the IOM TT several years ago and I used the train to get up to Gatwick but I just wheeled it on the train during rush hour as well and stood by it. So it seems I was just lucky to get away with it.
My own stolen bike story was I was working in an office in Mitcham and would leave my bike under the stairs which led up to the office unlocked.
I was living in Croydon then. Anyway that evening I went to go home and found my bike wasn't there. It had been stolen. But how I wondered as we had a security guard on the gate !. Long story short he had let a little kid come in to pay his mums gas bill and after he had done that walked out with my bike. Thankfully the security guard had the boys address and we were able to ring his mum and get him to bring it back. Which he did and it was too big for him to even get on. After I had given him a strict telling off, which sadly looked like it was going in one ear and out the other, rather than pursue the issue I let him go.
But boy I have never forgotten that feeling of discovering your bike has been stolen.
As for travelling on trains with a bike it exasperates every time I read just how difficult it is.

Tizme
Posts: 118
Joined: 10 Apr 2012, 12:41pm

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby Tizme » 2 Oct 2017, 6:24pm

Once while at work I was informed that a Royal Marine was beating ten bells out of a young naval rating just outside the establishment gate. I strolled out to find out what was going on, to be informed by said RM (a corporal) that the young rating had stolen his very expensive mountain bike and he was re-briefing said individual as only royal can :lol:

Young rating then informed me that he was "only borrowing the bike" to meet his girlfriend at the gate. I firstly explained that you could only borrow an item with the owners permission, I then asked what he had intended to do with the bike once his girlfriend had arrived, "leave it here" (on a public road).

A mate of the corporal then stated that the rating frequently "borrowed" bikes to get around the establishment, leaving them wherever he felt. Most of the personnel who shared his accommodation block had needed to retrieve their bikes from various locations at one time or another (up to now without violent repercussions).

I informed the corporal that I had not witnessed any assault, but should he strike the rating in my presence I would have to take the matter further. I then informed him that I was leaving the vicinity and he could continue re-briefing the individual until he felt the lesson had been learnt. :wink:

Unsurprisingly the rating did not "borrow" bikes after this incident.

User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 7244
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby 661-Pete » 2 Oct 2017, 7:08pm

Tizme wrote:Once while at work I was informed that a Royal Marine was beating ten bells out of a young naval rating just outside the establishment gate......Unsurprisingly the rating did not "borrow" bikes after this incident.
Very salutary :lol: . Where can I get hold of your corporal? He seems just the bloke to keep an eye on my bike, from now on..... :twisted:
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

awavey
Posts: 55
Joined: 25 Jul 2016, 12:04am

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby awavey » 3 Oct 2017, 12:34am

mjr wrote:
toontra wrote:
mjr wrote:Firstly, is there actually such a rule and secondly, what the hell's the reason for it?


I think you'll find most, if not all, train companies have it in their T&C's.

They will probably cite the need to move things in a hurry in the case of accidents or terrorist-type incidents, but the cynic in me thinks it's also just another ploy to discourage cyclists.

I'm a cynic like you. I suspect they just don't like cyclists using their trains because we don't currently pay for the bikes. The accident theory doesn't work because it would be much better if a bike stays securely fastened to the rack in a crash, rather than becoming an airborne missile. Terrorism? Vanishingly rare and I don't let it change what I do.

It's not in http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/Condition ... 202016.pdf although it appears on the text of some train company websites, so I'm not sure if it's actually a condition.
meic wrote:I always imagined it was to avoid delays as people looked for keys that they had put in a different pocket to the one they usually do. Or to avoid having to cut bikes out of the train when the key or even the owner was permanently nowhere to be found.

So prioritising their income-protection (by reducing the risk of delay causing late fines) over crime prevention and cyclists' onward journeys - is that fair?


Im not sure its that, if its similar to the bike racks on some of the trains Ive used, its the case where theres already a bike there,someone comes along to fill the second spot up and then locks their bike up to something then traps both bikes in place so how is the 1st person meant to retrieve their bike if they get off at the next stop, you have to do that whole check whose bike it was, and since they locked it they might have wandered off to another further part of the train, all the while the train is stuck waiting. I can see its a hassle the train companies/staff dont want as those suburban trains are always so tightly timetabled its easy to end up delayed. I dont know what the solution is to using modern trains with bikes anymore, and its not resort to those awful bike and go bikes.

but whenever Ive used the train with my bike Ive always stood next to it or made it visibly clear to anyone Im keeping a close eye on it, I rarely trust anyone enough to leave a bag even minus all its valuables on a seat if I go to the toilet, my bike Im near paranoid about leaving in places Im unfamiliar with.

User avatar
hondated
Posts: 2088
Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 7:59am
Location: Eastbourne

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby hondated » 3 Oct 2017, 8:41pm

Tizme wrote:Once while at work I was informed that a Royal Marine was beating ten bells out of a young naval rating just outside the establishment gate. I strolled out to find out what was going on, to be informed by said RM (a corporal) that the young rating had stolen his very expensive mountain bike and he was re-briefing said individual as only royal can :lol:

Young rating then informed me that he was "only borrowing the bike" to meet his girlfriend at the gate. I firstly explained that you could only borrow an item with the owners permission, I then asked what he had intended to do with the bike once his girlfriend had arrived, "leave it here" (on a public road).

A mate of the corporal then stated that the rating frequently "borrowed" bikes to get around the establishment, leaving them wherever he felt. Most of the personnel who shared his accommodation block had needed to retrieve their bikes from various locations at one time or another (up to now without violent repercussions).

I informed the corporal that I had not witnessed any assault, but should he strike the rating in my presence I would have to take the matter further. I then informed him that I was leaving the vicinity and he could continue re-briefing the individual until he felt the lesson had been learnt. :wink:

Unsurprisingly the rating did not "borrow" bikes after this incident.

Love it ! He learnt a harsh lesson there then.

thirdcrank
Posts: 26921
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby thirdcrank » 3 Oct 2017, 9:16pm

Re harsh lessons, this is from s37 Larceny Act 1916 Punishments

(6) Where a sentence of whipping may be imposed under this Act—
(a) in the case of an offender whose age does not exceed sixteen years, the number of strokes at such whipping shall not exceed twenty-five and the instrument used shall be a birch-rod ;
(b) in the case of any other offender, the number of strokes at such whipping shall not exceed fifty ;
(c) in each case the court in its sentence shall specify the number of strokes to be inflicted and the instrument to be used;
(d) such whipping shall not take place after the expiration of six months from the passing of the sentence ;
(e) such whipping to be inflicted on any person sentenced to penal servitude shall be inflicted on him before he is removed to a convict prison with a view to his undergoing his sentence of penal servitude.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1916/50/enacted
As I've already posted, "borrowing" a bike isn't the same as stealing it so none of that applied to it. (There must be scope for some wordplay involving "whipping" but I'm too squeamish.) Perhaps the lack of a deterrent for so long is why we still see so many bikes being nicked. Or not. :?

pat okeeffe
Posts: 2
Joined: 10 Dec 2017, 11:36am

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby pat okeeffe » 10 Dec 2017, 12:37pm

My partner had her bike stolen from a train carriage, again on a Southern train, on her way home from work two days ago. She always assumed that bikes were not to be locked to the fixed structures of the carriage. However, the insurance company wont pay out unless she can prove that there is a definite policy to this effect. From the discussion in this thread it seems that there is no hard and fast rule. No one at Southern customer services or at the local stations could point to any specific policy on this matter. Does anyone know any different?

mercalia
Posts: 8617
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby mercalia » 10 Dec 2017, 5:03pm

pat okeeffe wrote:My partner had her bike stolen from a train carriage, again on a Southern train, on her way home from work two days ago. She always assumed that bikes were not to be locked to the fixed structures of the carriage. However, the insurance company wont pay out unless she can prove that there is a definite policy to this effect. From the discussion in this thread it seems that there is no hard and fast rule. No one at Southern customer services or at the local stations could point to any specific policy on this matter. Does anyone know any different?


what journey was this if you dont mind saying.

I think some train companies have the dont lock policy maybe east coast virgin or chiltern or east anglia ( as they are the only other ones I have used and seem to remember seeing a dont lock information)

User avatar
661-Pete
Posts: 7244
Joined: 22 Nov 2012, 8:45pm

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby 661-Pete » 10 Dec 2017, 5:54pm

Update - and sorry to hear about your experience Pat, welcome to the forum.

I finally got a call from the police yesterday - they are following up the incident although with little chance of identifying a suspect. They have plenty of CCTV footage, it seems, and showed it to local shopkeepers in Plumpton village, without result. Curiously, the CCTV shows that on leaving the station approach, the culprit initially turned left - i.e. away from Plumpton College, although I retrieved the bike close to the College. Maybe to confuse me in case I was in pursuit?

I told the PC that if the same person was identified and apprehended on a separate offence, I'd be happy to come forward and give a statement. Otherwise the case is closed.
Pete

Et qui rit des curés d'Oc?/De Meuse raines, houp! de cloques./De quelles loques ce turque coin./Et ne d'anes ni rennes,/Ecuries des curés d'Oc. - Louis d'Antin

pat okeeffe
Posts: 2
Joined: 10 Dec 2017, 11:36am

Re: Bike stolen and retrieved - extraordinary day!

Postby pat okeeffe » 10 Dec 2017, 9:30pm

Thanks all for your replies. She was on her way back from work in Worthing going to Hove, and according to other people on the train a character was seen standing by her bike for a while and then wheeled it off the train at Southwick.