St Albans charity cyclist calls for more action against station bike theft

PUBLISHED: 11:28 13 November 2018

The sentimental bike which was stolen from Jason Wills. Picture: Jason Wills

The sentimental bike which was stolen from Jason Wills. Picture: Jason Wills

Archant

A charity cyclist has called for more action against train station theft after his bike was stolen.

Jason Wills with his daughter and the bike, before he rode it to Paris. Picture: Jason WillsJason Wills with his daughter and the bike, before he rode it to Paris. Picture: Jason Wills

Jason Wills locked up his bike outside St Albans City Station at about 7.30am on October 22, but by the time he came home from work at about 8pm, it was gone.

A witness saw someone use bolt cutters to steal the cycle, which is worth £1,000 new.

It also has irreplaceable sentimental value - Jason was gifted it for Christmas three years ago and since then has used it to cycle more than 300km to Paris in aid of JDRF.

This is a charity which funds research into Type One diabetes, an illness Jason’s daughter suffers with.

Jason reported the theft to employees at St Albans City Station and to British Transport Police, but felt that “no-one cared”.

He said: “What was interesting is when I went to enquire with the people at the train station, they said three or four had been stolen that day and it’s a fairly common occurrence.

“When I posted about it on Facebook people said on there it happened all the time - but you never think it will happen to you.”

It was not covered by Jason’s home insurance and he cannot afford to buy another of the same quality.

“That bike has been through quite a bit with me in the saddle - I have cycled to Paris and raised money for my daughter’s charity, and so as much as I can be I am emotionally attached to it,” he added.

“If you are trying to encourage people to cycle, they should do more to ensure bikes don’t get stolen.”

According to statistics website Plumplot, bicycle theft has decreased by 16 per cent in St Albans from September 2017 to August 2018, when compared to the same period the previous year.

It says there were 503 bikes stolen in that time frame.

A spokesperson from British Transport Police said: “Unfortunately, bicycles remain a popular target for thieves, and we are aware of reports of a number of thefts from St Albans station in recent weeks.

“We have a dedicated cycle theft investigation team and would advise cyclists to invest in a good quality D lock and get their bikes securely marked and registered at www.bikeregister.com.

“Getting your cycle registered helps police trace recovered cycles and return them to their owners. Additionally it makes your property less appealing to would-be thieves.”

Govia Thameslink Rail did not respond to request for comment.

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