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Cyclist fumes after his £900 bike is stolen from ‘secure’ hangar outside his South Hackney home

PUBLISHED: 16:16 06 September 2017

Callum's bike was locked inside the hangar. Picture: Callum O'Neill

Callum's bike was locked inside the hangar. Picture: Callum O'Neill

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A cyclist is warning others about bike thieves cutting through “secure” hangars after his £900 ride was nicked from outside his home.

Theives cut through the hangar with an angle grinder. Picture: Callum O'NeillTheives cut through the hangar with an angle grinder. Picture: Callum O'Neill

Callum O’Neill opened up the Cyclehoop lock-up in Gore Road, South Hackney on Saturday to find his carbon fibre road racer had been stolen, though none of the other bikes had been touched.

He told the Gazette: “Initially I thought they must have picked the hangar lock, because I could see no damage. However on closer inspection I saw that they had cut the entire side panel out of the hangar, gaining full access to the bikes. They had carefully placed back the wire mesh, potentially to return for the other bikes.”

Because Callum doesn’t know exactly when his bike was stolen, police closed his case after a few hours of him reporting it online.

And after contacting Cyclehoop, he was told they do not accept liability for any thefts of bikes, despite him insisting they are not as “secure” as they are said to be.

He continued: “Knowing what I know now – that my bike isn’t secure in their hangars – and knowing my bike was deliberately targeted, I suddenly realised these hangars are in fact shop windows for professional bike thieves.

“I say shop window because I believe the fault with these particular hangars is that you can clearly see inside them. Hence, the thieves can take stock of every bike that is in every hangar and then steal to order whenever they choose, providing they have the tools.

“Hackney residents who rent these have a right to know the true risk attached if they have secured their bikes.”

Cyclehoop MD Anthony Lau told the Gazette he had sympathy with Callum but insisted the hangars were secure.

“I started the company after someone stole my bike, I know how it feels,” he said. “We’re trying to help him out.

“But just like anything you put in the street people will break in, and we try to manage that by designing something that’s secure.

“If it’s a quiet location they will target it more. It’s really unfortunate someone broke into it but they used an angle grinder, it would have taken about two hours, we can’t stop anyone who’s that determined.

“We have spoken to the council and we are talking about relocating this hangar, but it has to work for five other people who have their bikes in it.”

Anthony added that new hangars have started being rolled out that are less transparent.

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