This story starts with salsa verde & ends with me in a police van with 6 officers.
Last night, on my way home from work, I decided to cycle by our local Tescos to pick up some ingredients to make Jamie Oliver’s salsa verde (as any good boyfriend would do). After I gathered and purchased all of my groceries, I headed outside to jump on my bike to head home. The only problem was…my bike was gone (despite it being locked up).
So there I was; bewildered that the bicycle that I cherish and use every day had been taken from me. Just then, a guy came up to me and said: “Oye mate, was your bike taken?”. I said it was and he replied: “I saw the guy who clipped it, he just headed off that way & if you hurry you might catch him”.
So I started running in the direction he pointed, in my cycling shoes no less. I ran about half a city block, listening to my shoes clicking against the pavement all the while questioning if the guy who pointed me this was actually in on it.
I stopped in front Hackney Central and, if you know the area, quickly realised all of the different routes the thief could have taken…that was it my bike was gone.
I then began to slowly make my way home, again with my cycling shoes clicking on the pavement, thinking about how I was going to get to work the next day…feeling pretty sad, to say the least.
As I was approaching a newsagent near the end of my street, I saw a group of 6 guys in front of it and one of them was sitting on…you’ve guessed it…my bike.
Without thinking, I approached the group:
Me: “Hey guys that is a pretty awesome bike”
Me: “Do you know why it’s an awesome bike? Because IT’S MY BIKE!!!!”
Now, I will pause right here to highlight one of my more well-known traits…that is my ability to be LOUD. And for those who know me well, this was by far the loudest I have ever been.
Thief: “What are you on about mate, this is my bike”
Me: “No, it’s not!!”
I am now holding onto the handlebars, refusing to let go. I drag the bike closer to the entrance of the store and yell at the person behind the counter to call the police.
Me: “Call the police, call the police!”
Thief: “Settle down”
Me: “No. Get off my bike!!”
Thief: “This is my bike, I paid 100 quid for it”
Me: “I don’t care!!! It’s my bike”
He then reached into his pocket and grab some pliers (obviously one of the tools he used to break my lock). I then get louder.
Me: “GET OFF OF MY BIKE. YOU STOLE MY BIKE. CALL THE POLICE!!”
Bystander: “How do we know it’s your bike?”
Me: “Because I am the only one on the street that is wearing the shoes that clip into this bike!!!”
Me: “GET OFF MY BIKE”
At this point, pedestrians and other cyclists are stopping on the street looking our way. I am being as loud as possible to draw maximum attention. The thief notices this growing audience and puts the pliers back into his pocket.
Me: “GET OFF MY BIKE!!!!!”
Shop owner: “The police are on their way”
Theif: “Forget it, you can have the bike then.”
Me: “Of course I can have the bike, IT’S MY BIKE!!!”
The thief then takes off. Two seconds later, by coincidence, a police van shows up. They ask me to hop in so they could drive around with me & try and spot the guy.
My adrenaline is in overdrive, I am speaking faster than I ever had before and am elated that I managed to get my bike back. It was pretty surreal to be sitting in a police van with 6 police officers driving around my neighbourhood looking for this thief. I am astonished by how little I could recall about the thief but told the police all I could remember.
While we didn’t end up finding him, I did enjoy my impromptu ride along. I think the police enjoyed my story & were happy that I had recovered my property.
That is where my story ends. I would like to thank the gentlemen outside of the Tescos who pointed me in the right direction, the shop owner who called 999, and the van full of police officers who were incredibly professional.
In case you are wondering…the night concluded with some delicious salsa verde, cod, roasted potatoes, and copious amounts of wine.
Update: After reading my story & ended up being interviewed and featured in the Hackney Gazzette!