Police! This Is Not How People Carry Bikes

by 14

Dear The Police – This is not how to carry a bike:

Stolen bikes
No, that’s not a floppy eared dog looking out that window.

If you see someone carrying a bike like this and you are a police officer, please arrest them. Clue: this is probably a stolen bike. Other clue: this is probably also a driving offence. Further clue: the car is probably not road legal.

Stolen bikes
Incorrect care of a bicycle.

If you see someone carrying a bike like this and you are not a police officer, please:

  • call the police
  • take a photograph or video
  • follow them until the police arrive, if it is safe to do so.

This is the second recent local case we’ve heard of where a bike has been carried off in this fashion. In the first case, it was our bikes – two of them – that were carried off. In both instances, the car was untaxed, had no MOT, but the plates matched the car description. For anyone that has ever been fined for forgetting to get their MOT done, you could perhaps be forgiven for feeling a little aggrieved that criminals appear immune to the presence of ANPR, DVLA databases, and all the supposed power of the surveillance state.

Appropriate ‘leaning out of the window’ behaviour

Is this growing boldness of daylight thievery based on the seeming nonchalance of the public to accept car-door mounted bicycles in the street? Or an increased desperation by the thieves? A budget issue, or attitude problem for the Police? Or are more people simply buying dodgy bikes down the pub?


Latest member deals

Our members get the best deals on our merchandise. Join us and become a member for free today.

Our merchandise sales are a vital source of revenue for us at Singletrack and every sale helps keep people employed and creating the content that you love. Support us by browsing through all our merch in our shop here.


Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (14)

    A couple of years ago I stopped at the Robin Hood pub in Pecket Well. Me and my mate had our bikes in the garden. I went to get the beers in. By the front door were two very nice road bikes, chained to each other and the drainpipe with a thin bike chain. I thought to myself that somebody would quickly cut through that. As I came back out a car had pulled up and a guy was half out the door with some bolt cutters. Seeing me he jumped back in and the car screeched off. I went back in and told the owners (they were easy to spot).
    Not sure of the relevance, other than thieves are always looking for easy wins. Back in the day it was someone knocking your bike from outside of the newsagent, I guess this is just a more advanced version. Though given the traffic around Hebden they’re surely taking a risk!
    And a question, if you have photos of the car, numberplate etc, how comes the police can’t track it down. Is is because not being taxed or insured they have no address?

    Depends if the car is correctly registered. When filling in the V5 your taking it on trust that the new owner gives you their correct name and address and completes the relevant sections.

    Saw this on Facebook earlier – seems to be a friend of a friend of a friends – apparently the car according to DVLA doesn’t have insurance or an MOT.

    I’m sure that thieves register the car they aren’t taxing and aren’t MOT’ing at their own address.
    Definitely just lazy police not being bothered to perform a simple check for the registered owners address.
    No other explanation possible.

    Oh, wait – hold on a second…..

    Attributing these thefts to an attitude problem by the Police is just stupid.
    In case you care, I’d attribute it to a combination of several factors, including but not limited to:
    Some people happy to buy dodgy bikes / parts. That would be some cyclists btw.
    Some people feeling it’s ok to steal things.
    Some people feeling it’s ok for friends / family to steal things and therefor not preventing or reporting it.
    Lack of Police resources meaning that untaxed, uninsured vehicles can still be driven around and be used in thefts.

    ” In both instances, the car was untaxed, had no MOT, but the plates matched the car description.”

    And how would these facts be known if the police weren’t doing their job, Hannah?

    I’m with scc999 on this – your indignation is misdirected and unfair.

    In both instances here the details of the plate have been checked online, not by the police (though they may have done that too). Our local collective experience has been that the police are unable to do much beyond providing a crime number for insurance purposes. We were told we shouldn’t expect to have an officer assigned to the crime until 4 days after it had been reported. Persistence reduced that to 3 days in our case. Without an officer, all you can do if you do get any useful information is call 101 again. With hold times of 15-20 minutes as we experienced, that’s slow going, meanwhile the trail is going cold. It’s clear that they’re under resourced, for sure – there was even a queue to get into the police station when I went – but that shouldn’t be a reason to accept that if your stuff gets nicked the best you can hope for is a successful insurance claim. Where’s the deterrent in that?

    did they drive past a police car that didn’t respond?

    Have people been keeping up with the Police, ambulance, fire and general public sector services of late? Last I heard they were on their knees thanks to this govt’s cutbacks. If you want to blame anyone blame that witch Theresa May. She was repeatedly warned that the cutbacks would result in crime increases but she told the police to stop crying wolf.

    Yep, there was never any theft before Theresa May personally sanctioned anyone who wants something for nothing to just go and take it. Oh, hang on a minute………………………….

    “Yep, there was never any theft before Theresa May personally sanctioned anyone who wants something for nothing to just go and take it. Oh, hang on a minute”

    Which is not REMOTELY the point being made – nice Straw Man there, Stu.

    The point is that things are BOUND to have got worse thanks to Tory cuts.

    As point go, this one is not exactly rocket science.

    Just write to your MP, tell them how many bobbies you would like and ask them to set the basic rate of tax accordingly. If we all did that it might gain some traction.

    Its a bike get over it.

    This is the 3 or 4th time I have visited to read about these 2 bikes.

    I don’t want the police waster time finding a bike or being hassled to assign someone, between drugs, physical violence, trafficking, and any number of other serious crimes a bike stolen is not really a high priority.

    Crime number – insurance – move on.

    All three preferably

    It is a priority when they start threatening kids, with knives. Same MO again tonight in Walsden.

    This article smacks of white middle class privilege.

    You had your very expensive bikes stolen, that you use for fun and you expect your own police task force to be put on the job?

    You had to QUEUE to get into the police station!? You were on HOLD on the telephone for a non-emergency!? Jesus!

    It’s like walking into A&E with a headache and expecting a trauma team to be waiting for you.

    I’d like to think that if the police saw a bike being carried like that, they would stop the car, even if they hadn’t read your incredibly patronising article first.

Leave a Reply