By Ryan Dabbs
The Metropolitan Police are urging cyclists to stay vigilant following a number of recent bike robberies in the Richmond Park area.
Officers are investigating the bike theft reports, of which there have been four in the past week. All of the bikes have reportedly been forcibly stolen from the owners.
Additional officers are assisting in making Richmond Park safer, with patrols increasing over the next few days in the area. However, the police are also "urging cyclists to be vigilant" when using the park.
Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, responsible for local policing in south west London, said: "Many people in the area would have seen these reports on social media and will understandably be concerned. I can reassure you that we are doing everything we can to track down those responsible for these terrible crimes.
"Everyone should be able to feel safe when using Richmond Park and that's why I have arranged for additional officers to be in the area over the comings days. They will work alongside our dedicated Royal Parks officers and I would encourage anyone with concerns to approach them, or to call 999 in an emergency."
The first report of a bike robbery came on Wednesday October 6, when a man in his 20s was pushed off of his bike by two people on electric scooters.
The day after, British pro cyclist Alexandar Richardson had his bike stolen by four men on two mopeds. After injuring Richardson, they proceeded to pull a machete on him before making off with his multi-thousand-pound bike.
Another man also suffered the same fate, with two people on a moped threatening him with a machete before stealing his bike on Monday October 11. He also suffered injuries after falling from his bike.
At the same time, another man in his 50s was pushed from his bike by two men on a moped.
Two men on a moped have been photographed riding around the Roehampton area, parading a bike on their back while their faces are covered.
CCTV footage also managed to capture four thieves on two mopeds stealing six bikes from a home in southwest London during the early hours of Tuesday morning. One of the bikes included Mattie Dodd's time trial bike, which he had used to win the junior men's national closed circuit time trial championship just hours before.
There have been no arrests in connection with these incidents.
Detective Inspector Gavin Collins, from Operation Venice, the Met's response to moped enabled crime, said: "These incidents would have been incredibly frightening for those involved and I would like to reassure the victims and the public that we are doing everything we can to track down these dangerous individuals.
"I would ask anyone who was in or around the park at the time of any of the incidents to check for any dashcam or cycle helmet footage. This could be key to helping us track down those responsible".
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