Cyclist 'robbed at knifepoint' by moped thugs in Regent's Park in latest 'bikejacking'

Regent's Park Cyclists who have become targets for thieves (Lucy Young)
Regent's Park Cyclists who have become targets for thieves (Lucy Young)

A cyclist has said he was ‘bike jacked’ by knife wielding robbers on mopeds in London’s Regent’s Park on Thursday morning.

There has been a spate of such attacks in the park with cyclists using the park ring road for training roads.

The thieves target expensive bikes and equipment, and in this case ambushed a member of the south west London Onyx RT racing team and threatened the 6ft 7 rider with a blade.

A message on a cyclists’ forum said that four men on two mopeds ambushed the victim and stole the rider’s Wahoo GPS bike computer.

The message said: “Sadly another violent bike jacking in Regents Park this morning. A 6ft 7 Onyx RT Racer was assaulted at knifepoint.”

A further message giving a detailed account from the victim said: “Here is how the robbery went down in case helpful. Two mopeds, two men on each coming towards me at outer Circle Regent’s Park. I jumped up the kerb and onto the sidewalk and sprinted. Thought the kerb may protect me from them coming after me.

“They turned around and shouted at me to stop, then pushed me into the fence - hit the fence. While they were getting off moped i threw my phone into the dark grass. tried to do the same with my wahoo, but they grabbed it. Held me down with a knife while frisking me.”

The Metropolitan Police told The Standard: “Police were called at 04.33am on Thursday, 18 April to reports of a robbery in Avenue Road NW8, near Regent's Park.

“The victim was robbed of his bicycle by a group of suspects. The man was not injured but was understandably shaken. Officers took the victim home. Enquiries are ongoing.”

Sean Epstein is the chair of Regent’s Park Cyclists, a collective of over 35 cycling clubs. He said that since September last year, the community has seen a big increase in attacks with the crimes carried out by professionals.

“They’re using bikes that have had their plates removed, they’re using balaclavas,” he said.

“Every incident is basically exactly the same MO, very quick, very surgical,” he said, and all in a “very targeted location, very early in the morning”.

Mr Epstein says the crimes have put many people, especially women, off riding. A survey by the group late last year found that 90 per cent of cyclists felt less safe since the attacks.

Eliecer Alvarez is another cyclist to fall prey to the robbers circling Regent’s Park.

The 26-year-old north Londoner, who works in IT, was also targeted when cycling to Regent’s Park just after dawn. A group of four men on e-bikes allegedly started to follow him.

Realising he was about to be robbed while at a red light, Mr Alvarez said he sprinted as fast as he could when it turned green. He wanted to keep his Pinarello Dogma S, worth £12,000.

Two of the men on e-bikes pulled up alongside Mr Alvarez and reportedly started hitting and kicking him as he rode.

“I had to go in zig zags. I started kicking them, screaming ‘help me, somebody help me’,” he said.

“One of the riders said he was going to kill me,” he added.

Cyclist Eliecer Alvarez, who said he was attacked by a gang (Eliecer Alvarez)
Cyclist Eliecer Alvarez, who said he was attacked by a gang (Eliecer Alvarez)

Mr Alvarez was saved by a bus driver who turned into the road, stopping both lanes of traffic, while a lorry driver and a homeless man helped too. The men on the e-bikes sped off.

Other parks in well heeled neighbourhoods have also been targeted.

Professional cyclist Alexandar Richardson was attacked by four men on two motorbikes in Richmond Park in 2021. One of the bikes rode into him “at around 60kph”, while the other dragged him to the ground.

After being threatened with a machete, Mr Richardson handed over his £10,000 machine. One of the culprits was convicted for that attack and two others in the last year.