"I'm realising there's a lot of crime around here": Northampton man calls on public to be aware of bike thieves in this part of town
"Get yourself secured, be more vigilant, that is the only way we will beat this"
A 40-year-old man living in Northampton has sent out a warning to residents in Far Cotton to be aware of bike thieves in the area - and he has called on the offenders, who are still at large, to "do the right thing" and return his £800 piece of kit.
Tanvir, who wishes to not be fully named due to other recent crimes in the area, had his bright yellow, Voodoo Wazoo bicycle stolen from the locked and CCTV secured communal bicycle storage area at his rented property in in Saw Mills Court, in Old Towcester Road, on February 28 between 4am and 5am.
The cyclist moved to the area from Derby a year ago after securing a corporate management position at a national supermarket company based in Northampton.
When asked his thoughts and feelings on having his bike stolen, Tanvir said: "Very disappointed. I use it most summers, especially recently as everyone's going out on their bikes. It's not really good for me being in the house now during Covid - it's difficult to stay indoors.
"It's taken a lot away from me without the bike, there's not much motivation to go for exercise. It's my hobby. Riding a bike around here is beautiful, it gives me a lot of satisfaction.
"Me and my wife are surprised it's happened in this area. I'm realising there's a lot of crime around here."
Tanvir also said his neighbours had their bikes stolen on the same evening.
Northamptonshire Police confirmed they were called to the scene and are now appealing for information. A police spokeswoman said: "This incident happened in Old Towcester Road, Northampton, between 4am and 5am on February 28 when a bicycle was stolen from a shed. Witnesses or anyone with information should call us on 101."
At the time of the incident, Tanvir was getting ready for work when he heard "some banging", but he dismissed it thinking it was "nothing suspicious". He then drove to work that day and wasn't made aware of the thefts until his wife mentioned it on his return.
Tanvir said: "I overlooked the banging, thinking it was nothing suspicious. I thought someone was moving in, maybe. This is the first time it's happened to me. My neighbour said he saw the shadows and the light go off. He witnessed the people stealing and made a call straight to police while it was happening."
According to police, officers arrived at the scene quickly and did an area search but were unable to locate the perpetrators.
However, Tanvir said police reportedly took too long taking his neighbour's details and then went in the wrong direction that the residents gave them.
"When the police turned up they were more interested in getting my neighbour's information than chasing the thieves. I'm a bit disappointed that that's how police reacted.
"I have given them [police] the model number and make but there is a very low chance of me getting it back. I feel a bit lost. Residents here are calling for more security on the bike storage door. I think they [police and property owners] could do more.
"There are three different exit points around the canal, so it would have been hard for police to catch the thieves. It all seems planned," said Tanvir.
It was later revealed that the CCTV in the storage area was not actually in operation and was there as just as a "deterrent", according to the property management firm, Warwick Estates (WE).
A WE spokeswoman said: "The bike store has two maglocks and a FB2 lock, the CCTV is dummy CCTV and used as a deterrent, as unfortunately the leases Warwick are bound by do not allows for the installation of CCTV to the bike store.
"We are aware on this occasion that the thieves physically broke the wood on the door and used a crowbar to open exactly where the maglocks were. A contractor was onsite as soon as possible, the door was secured and locks repaired.
"We are committed to assisting our residents and will continue to work with them to implement measures to deter criminals from targeting their property."
In response to this, Tanvir said he feels "annoyed" and "let down" by WE and is calling on the property company to put "put more locks on the door".
Tanvir also wanted to give a message to the public. He said: "I just want the neighbourhood to be aware of this. Just be vigilant, especially around this area. It's something that will surprise you. Get yourself secured, be more vigilant, that is the only way we will beat this."