Architect, 70, fights off gang of bike thieves armed with power tools

  • london
  • May 16, 2023
  • Comments Off on Architect, 70, fights off gang of bike thieves armed with power tools
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A famous architect managed to fend off an armed gang of thieves on mopeds who tried to steal his bicycle worth £2,500.

Ben Derbyshire, who used to be president of the Royal Institute for British Architects, was at a cafe in Hackney, east London, when his Brompton bike was targeted by the mob carrying power tools on Friday morning.

The 70-year-old first clocked the group, who were all intimidatingly dressed in black with full-face helmets, when they started using an angle grinder to try and access the bike locked up outside.

After running outside and yelling at the moped drivers who had managed to get to his bike, at least four of the thieves surrounded Mr Derbyshire.

One of the drivers then threatened him with an angle grinder and put it to his face in the terrifying ordeal.

He said: ‘I thought I was in danger. Especially at one point I was rather pinned into position with a lot of bikes in front of me and people behind me and I wasn’t in a position to run away if I wanted to.’

Footage filmed by a passerby captured the moment Mr Derbyshire managed to cling on to his bike as a moped driver aggressively tried to pull it away from him.

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The rider is seen yanking furiously at the bike in an attempt to prize it away from Mr Derbyshire’s grasp but he’s able to keep hold of it.

His son and the owner of El Ganso cafe are seen helping him before the swarm of bikers eventually flee the scene in Broadway Market empty handed.

The victim, who is the chairperson of architecture firm HTA Design LLP, shared the video on Twitter, and wrote: ‘I find myself in an altercation with angle-grinder wielding rustlers after my #Brompton. 

‘Fended off with the help of son & daughter and the proprietor of El Ganzo!

‘Lesson 1: In extremis make lots of noise & take loads of pictures. Lesson 2: Swap Brompton for my tatty old Giant?’

He admitted the attempted theft had left him ‘shaken’ and told the Evening Standard: ‘I think what happened was, from their point of view, it all got a bit too complicated so they chickened out.

‘I just think that’s depressing and that they should be so aggressive about it. 

‘I mean, trying to intimidate me by pushing an angle grinder into my face. That is not on.’

He also thanked the restaurant owner for helping and taking the bicycles inside after the incident, in which no one was physically hurt.

Metropolitan Police said it is investigating the attempted theft of a bicycle at around 10.55am in Broadway Market, E8 on May 12.

No arrests have been made.

Last week, a Deliveroo driver was tragically killed in a ‘hit and run’ crash in Lambeth, south London.

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