A TAMWORTH man is urging riders and the public to be vigilant after thieves snatched bikes in a brazen theft in the Tamworth CBD.
Luckily, the bikes were recovered shortly after when the riders gave chase with police in hot pursuit.
Craig, who wanted to remain anonymous, and a fellow rider were having a coffee at Homestead Cafe in the Fitzroy Mall about 12.30pm on Thursday when two teenage boys walked up and took their bikes resting just metres away.
The teens took off and the riders gave chase.
“I was yelling out, ‘Stop the thief’ – people were shocked, they were stunned.Craig
“We yelled out for them to stop and started to chase them,” Craig told The Leader.
“I was yelling out, ‘Stop the thief’ – people were shocked, they were stunned.
“It was so brazen, it just blew me away.”
One of the teens dropped the Merida bike in the mall, bending part of the derailer and leaving a costly repair bill for Craig.
Police were called and the riders led officers to the levee bank, where they eventually stopped the second boy near the Gipps Street fields and recovered the Norco mountain bike.
He was arrested and police confirmed he would be dealt with under the Young Offenders Act.
The incident was captured on CCTV in the mall and the council’s surveillance network.
The goods were returned this time, but Craig hoped the incident would be a warning – for the public and for bike riders – to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings so they didn’t become the next target.
“I rang the police and they were onto it straight away, like within five minutes,” he said.
“But everyone needs to be vigilant.
“Bike riders need to be vigilant when they’re at the coffee shop or stopped; they need to be aware – so too the public, shoppers, you know.”