Crime charity launch cycle theft campaign

Carla Vega

Carla Vega - Credit: Archant

A Hoxton woman has backed a crime fighting campaign after she found her stolen bike on sale at a nearby market.

Charity Crimestoppers is urging people to speak up about cycle crime and share stories similar to that of Carla Vega, of Fanshaw Street.

The 32-year-old pediatric nurse said: “I always locked my bike to a drain pipe on the walkway in front of my flat and kept it there overnight.

“Although you have to have a key to get entry in to the complex a lot of people manage to fool their way in by saying they’ve forgotten it. Someone got in at some point in the evening and took it.

“It was devastating when I found out it had been stolen. I use my bike to get to work in Kensington every day so it really is a lifeline.”

Ms Vega called the police who suggested going to the nearest market to look for the bike. She said: “I went to a flea market close to Shoreditch High Street station on the following Sunday and, amazingly, I found it attached to a second-hand bike stall. I knew it was mine because the seat had a very distinctive cigarette burn on it.”

Carla sought the help of passing police officers who were inspecting other bikes at the market.

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She said: “They checked my crime number and approached the vendor, who completely denied ownership of the bike and said it had been tied to the side of the stall by someone else.

“Unfortunately this meant there was no prosecution but I was able to get my bike back.”

She added: “If you ever have your bike stolen, look at the places it might be resold – including the internet.

“If possible, always store your bike indoors and keep a record of the frame number.”

Research from Crimestoppers has shown that 54 per cent of bike thieves will commit the crime in the borough where they live. As well as markets, stolen bikes and parts are sold on through car-boot sales, online auctions or free classified adverts.

Regan Hook, Crimestoppers’ regional manager for London, said: “We would urge anyone who has information about those involved in stealing bikes or handling stolen bikes and bike parts to share it with us anonymously.”

Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit

To find out more, visit: or follow on Twitter with #CycleTheft @CrimestoppersUK