By Alex Ballinger published
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a string of shocking bike thefts in London’s Richmond Park.
The news of the spate of violent attacks emerged earlier this month when British pro Alexandar Richardson revealed he was robbed at knife-point by a gang riding mopeds.
Following Richardson’s terrifying ordeal, a series of similar incidents have been reported, sparking the Metropolitan Police into action.
On Friday, October 15, officers arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of robbery, attempted robbery, possession of an offensive weapon, and allowing to be carried in a stolen vehicle in connection with the bike thefts.
The teen was subsequently charged with offences related to a separate investigation and remains under investigation for the offences at Richmond Park.
The first incident was reported at around 4pm on Thursday, October 7, when police were called to reports of a robbery near the Roehampton Gate entrance of Richmond Park, west London.
A man in his 30s had been approached by four males travelling on two mopeds, who pushed him from his bike, causing minor injuries.
They then threatened the victim with a machete, before take the bike and escaping the area.
Then on Monday, October 11 at around 5pm, a man in his 30s was knocked from his bike by two males travelling on a moped, who then stole his bike in Danbury Avenue, just outside the park. He was also threatened with a machete and suffered minor injuries.
At around the same time, a man in his 50s was pushed from his bike in Roehampton Lane. He was approached by two males on a moped, but no injuries were reported.
Following the reports, police urged cyclists to be vigilant when riding through the park, with Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple saying: “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 coming days.”
Reports suggest that cycling in Richmond Park has dropped by 80 per cent following these attacks.
Police said enquiries into the attacks are ongoing and that anyone with information should call 101 or tweet @MetCC, quoting reference CAD 5103/07OCT.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.
Alex is the 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 and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has 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 journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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