The Saga of Jedi’s Stolen Bike (Happy Ending)

by Ben Haworth 33

Jedi on the "famous" bike.
Jedi on the "famous" bike.

As many of you will know Tony Doyle (Jedi) had his beloved Demo 9 Stolen from the back of his car on the 14th December. It came as a hell of a blow to him and couldn’t have come at a worst time, as he has only recently started his cycle skills coaching firm; UK Bike Skills and it was just before Christmas. Many of you reading this will have been following the story as it unfolded on The Singletrack World Forum, but what many of you won’t know is that the story’s happy ending is as a direct result of the actions of many of the STW forum members. As soon as the bike was stolen Tony posted a topic on the forum stating that his bike had been stolen. There was a heart felt outpouring of emotion initially, but then people started to take steps to ensure that the bike would be found.

“To be honest I’ve been blown away by how people reacted. I had messages from complete strangers stating that they start looking on ebay and other auction websites, others sent me messages of support. I even had someone send me £10 via paypal for me to get myself a pint.”

Initially a was quiet, but we started to get rumours and stories about other high end bikes being taken in the area. The local paper ran a story about the loss of the bike, and the string of high value bike thefts. Members of the STW Forum continued to look for the bike and eventually Tony received word that it had appeared on ebay on Christmas Day.

The bike was listed for a 24 hour auction and there was a panic to try and get the local police informed. Unfortunately there were no police in Hertford to respond because of a much publicised drowning fatality in Bishops Stortford.

“As a result, we took the only course of action we could think of, we arranged to buy the bike from the thieves at the Baldock Service station on the A1”

The local police in Baldock had been informed, and they attended, but unfortunately due to a mix up, they weren’t able to apprehend the thieves with the bike and they got away. Members of the STW community spotted the car going South on the A1 and a car chase ensued, without the help of the police. Unfortunately the thieves got away.

“It was insane, the thieves drove into the services and I could see my bike in the back of their car, then something must have spooked them and they sped off before the police could respond. A few of us tried our best to chase them down the A1, but they got off the main road and we lost them outside Buntingford.”

With Tony’s bike gone and with no other leads, it was a difficult time for everyone involved.

A few very well know bike firms stepped in with offers of help and support for Tony, and their support is really appreciated.

Hertford Police came to visit Tony to offer their support and apologies for the mix up in Baldock, and when presented with a picture of the thieves car with Tony’s bike in the back, they were able to take action. They arrested one man who admitted a charge of handling stolen goods, but he said that they had dumped the Demo 9 somewhere between Buntingford and Hertford. To all intents and purposes, the bike was gone.

A couple of days later another STW forum member who shall remain nameless contacted the ebay seller and offered £600 for the bike. Amazingly he got an email back saying that the bike was still for sale and that he could meet the seller for the hand over. Now it was time to get the Hertford Police involved, as they had promised to do whatever they could to help, especially after the mix up in Baldock.

Obviously for legal reasons we can’t go into the specifics of what happened, but the thieves were met by five plain clothes CID officers and two squad cars. To date Eight people have been arrested, charged and bailed in connection to the case, and the Police have informed us that the charges pertain to high end bike theft, motorcycle and car thefts and handling/distributing stolen goods. Tony got his Demo 9 back just before the New Year, and it rounded off a challenging year on something of a high.

“It seems like with the help of all my online friends in UK cycling community, we’ve broken up a gang of thieves operating in the area. I just hope that they can be kept of the streets so that nobody else has to go through what I went through over the Christmas period. Its certainly a Christmas I’ll remember… I can’t thank everyone enough, and I can’t possibly attempt to name everyone here that offered me their support. You all know who you are, and I can truly say that the Online UK cycling community is amazing. Thank you all so much.”


UK Bike Skills is forging ahead for 2010 and putting the events over Christmas behind them, as such, they have released their group coaching dates for January 2010:

  • 7th January: Beginner session.
  • 9th January: Ladies only coaching day.
  • 13th January: Beginner/Intermediate.
  • 18th January: Beginner/Intermediate.
  • 22nd January: Intermediate/Advanced.
  • 23rd January: Junior Session.
  • 30th January: Ladies only coaching day

Private group session and one to one dates available on request.

Comments (33)

  1. Great news, Jedi! (and great free publicity, eh? Cynic mode off now!)

    So, people, can we use this as an example? Will there be other cases of people coming together to try and recover bikes like this? Here’s hoping!

  2. This was an awesome story… But at the same time everyone – keep your bikes somewhere safe (ie, not in the back of a car!)

  3. Will be interesting to hear how these criminals go through the courts and what they end up with!

    Nice one Tony! Glad the beast is back home!

  4. Nice one, Well done everyone… 🙂

  5. Good story and result, well done all!

  6. Awesome ending! Glad you got it back. Well done.

  7. That is a brilliant story snd an excellent result. Its about time people started taking more first hand action against these scum! Ace.

  8. cfh, not only have i got mine back ,we got another bike back to its owner and traced nigel from here’s bike parts and 2 other bikes being sold whehn stolen and police recovered 2 other bikes that we are trying to locate the owners for.
    publicity ?? ruined my daughter xmas!

  9. didnt realise you had a car chase! blikin eck… glad its sorted and you took the mafia down 🙂

  10. Good effort to all on that – glad the thieving scum were caught!

  11. Yesss!! Fantastic news 😀

  12. Great stuff Tony, It gave me a warm feeling to read it. A little publicity in return for a news story is a fair trade, it certainly shows how great STW is, so does them good. And anyhow, when you can release the full details, I’m sure it will make a great article in the mag for later on in the year.


  13. I don’t think it could’ve happened to a nicer guy. Karma etc. Well done!

  14. Just today I was wondering does ebay just make it easy for criminals?

    The answer I’m glad to see is not really. You have to put out a national advert showing what you’ve knicked.

    Great story. Well done to everyone envolved

  15. hertford police have asked if i will assist in future bike thefts in identifying etc… of course i said yes!!!

  16. Crikey jedi you must be happy: we can see your grin through a full face lid!

  17. i have to keep my bike in the car because there’s nowhere else for it. I’ll be careful about covering it up at least from now on…

  18. Thats great news, just shows what can happen if people team up.

    Quote {Will be interesting to hear how these criminals go through the courts and what they end up with!} The least you could do is post up their full details so we can all send them a christmas card or a brick, sorry yule log, you know what i mean!

  19. i reckon hands cut off is about right for a bike thief.

  20. Congratulations and well done to everyone who helped! But – £10 to buy yourself a pint? Is your local a Spearmint Rhino? 😉

  21. it was from a stw member. blew me away that someone would do that

  22. thats a collective wee in the criminals shoes…..great news all round

  23. great news Tony. Just shows what a concerted action by a group of individual can achieve when they put their minds to it.

  24. The cyclist strikes back,with the aid of the law,

  25. positive STW vibes to all involved, sterlin work guys.

    I’m off to start a what tyres for a car chase thread

  26. lol@ mrchrispy 🙂 🙂

  27. I love it when a plan comes together…

Comments are closed.