Thieves have been shoving cyclists into canal and then stealing their bikes, police warn

A string of incidents have been reported in the Midlands, with police stepping up patrols

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thieves have been shoving cyclists into a canal in order to steal their bikes, police in the Midlands have warned.

PCSO Shaun Evans with West Midlands Police in Wolverhampton has released a warning after a string of robberies on the canal network in the area.

Last month, news emerged of a series of similar incidents in nearby Birmingham after a cyclist was shoved into a canal by a group of 10 teenagers.

Issuing details via the online police neighbourhood alert system, PSCO Evans said: “It is with regret that we must make you all aware of consecutive incidents of robbery that have been perpetrated by opportunist criminals on and around local canal network and canal paths. One incident which has occurred involved the victim being pushed into the canal and then having their bicycle stolen by their antagonists.”

In June, Sophie Watson was cycling in Birmingham when she was approached by a group of boys who then pushed her into the water and laughed.

Ms Watson suffered bruises to her legs and ankles after the fall.

The incident happened at around 6.30pm on Friday, June 12  as Ms Watson cycled towards Birmingham city centre near Edgbaston Park Road.

West Midlands Police said that a second cyclist was pushed into the water in the same area and officers have also seen further reports of similar incidents on social media.

Police are investigating the incidents and officers are carrying out regular patrols in the area.

These incidents have been followed a series of incidents in Wolverhampton, which is around 20 miles from Birmingham.

Thieves carried out the attacks in the Mammoth Drive area and in the Wednesdield area.

Police have increased patrols in the area in the hopes of preventing further attacks.

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PSCO Evans added: “We would encourage you all to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings and also to be aware of others who may be around, or persons who may be in close proximity to yourself whilst you are out & about.”

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.