Brazen bike thief cuts through lock of a £3k electric bike with an angle grinder in front of passersby at a busy shopping centre

  • Thief was caught cutting through the lock of a £3,150 electric bike on Saturday
  • The incident took place at Surrey Quays shopping centre in London at 1.32pm
  • Onlooker Martin Pelant filmed the theft and asked the crook if it was his bike
  • Footage shows the hooded man cutting through the lock with an angle grinder 

A brazen thief was caught sawing through the lock of a £3,150 electric bike with an angle grinder by a shocked passerby at a shopping centre.

The crook was seen using the battery-powered tool on the bike outside Surrey Quays shopping centre in Rotherhithe, south east London, at around 1.30pm on Saturday.

A witness said he was with three accomplices – one of which wore a balaclava and rode a scooter – as he made off with the £3,150 Trek Powerfly 4 electric bike. 

Onlooker Martin Pelant filmed the theft and briefly challenged the man as he cut through the lock.

In the footage, the brazen thief is seen slicing through the bike lock outside the busy shopping centre while his balaclava-clad accomplice lurks in the background.


The crook was seen using the battery-powered tool on the bike outside Surrey Quays shopping centre in Rotherhithe, south east London, at around 1.30pm on Saturday

Orange sparks fly around the hooded man as he crouches over the bike, while shocked pedestrians walk straight past the man.

Martin says to the thief: ‘Is that your bike?’

The man briefly looks up and says ‘huh?’ before he continues sawing the metal bike lock with the angle grinder.

His accomplice helps him to yank the broken lock away from the electric bike, which is equipped with a front mudguard and rear pannier. 

The thief then picks up an empty black and white paper carrier bag bearing a Flannels logo.

The clip ends as the thief straddles the bike, carrying the paper bag in one hand and the angle grinder in the other. 

Onlooker Martin Pelant filmed the theft and asked the man if it was his bike as he cut through the lock with the angle grinder outside the busy shopping centre

Sharing the clip to Facebook and YouTube, where it has racked up a total of more than 42,000 views, Martin said: ‘Seriously? In broad daylight? With a grinder in front of a shopping center full of people? Today’s thieves really know no bounds.’

Shocked onlookers called the police while the brazen daylight theft was underway but Martin claimed that officers took 15 minutes to respond.

‘The officer that came in to file a report told the victim that if they find it to call their number and that they’ll do an undercover meet up,’ he wrote.

Martin told cycling website road.cc that he had focused on filming the incident in the hope that someone would recognise the thieves from his clip.

‘I focused on the one I could get a clear face of,’ he said. ‘I just hope someone might recognise them and they get arrested. 

‘I never would have thought that something like this could happen in broad daylight with an angle grinder in front of all the people.

‘There were quite a few people walking by and some of them observing from a distance. 

‘Another bystander was already on the phone with the police that arrived after 15 minutes. The shopping centre security is unfortunately located at the other entrance.’

Bike owner Adem Lakeman, who is a bike mechanic at Cycles UK, posted on Facebook page Stolen Bikes in London thanking bystanders for giving him information about the theft.

Bike owner Adem Lakeman, who is a bike mechanic at Cycles UK, posted on Facebook page Stolen Bikes in London thanking bystanders for giving him information about the theft

Onlookers called the police while the brazen daylight theft was underway but Martin claimed that officers took 15 minutes to respond. Pictured: £3,150 Trek Powerfly 4 electric bike

He wrote: ‘My bike, a Trek Powerfly 4 was stolen outside Surrey Quays Shopping Saturday 6th November. 

‘I’m sure some people may have seen the video of them already cutting the lock with an angle grinder. 

‘I would like to thank the people who are getting involved, sharing the video and giving it more attention. 

‘I have been receiving information from one of the bystanders that took the video who has been helping me immensely.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: ‘On Saturday, 6 November at 13:32hrs police were called to a report of a bike theft at Surrey Quays Shopping Centre.

‘Officers attended and conducted initial enquiries. No arrests; enquiries continue.

‘Anyone with information that could assist is asked to contact police on 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD3931/06NOV.’

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