‘They were shocked!’: Moment’s leading architect, 70, fights off gang of moped thieves who tried to steal his £2,500 Brompton bike with an angle grinder
- Ben Derbyshire was sitting in the El Ganso cafe when the attempted robbery took place
This is the moment an architect went head-to-head with a group of moped thieves wielding power tools who were after his £2,500 Brompton bike during lunchtime.
Ben Derbyshire, a respected architect who used to be president of the 70-year-old Royal Institute for British Architects, battled masked thieves as they targeted his expensive bike, which was left outside a cafe in Hackney, east. London,
The gang tried to get the bike out of its lock using a grinder.
Derbyshire, watching the commotion on the street through the glass windows of the cafe, ran to confront the group and quickly realized it was his expensive bike they were after.
He can be seen clutching his phone with one hand and holding his bike tightly with the other, as the gang wearing black-out helmets tries to rob him.
Ben Derbyshire, a respected architect, was sitting in the El Ganso cafe in Hackney, east London, when the attempted burglary took place
Mr. Derbyshire’s son and the owner of El Ganso Cafe is seen helping the thieves before leaving empty-handed.
The victim, who is the chairman of architecture firm HTA Design LLP, posted the video on Twitter saying he was involved in an altercation with ‘angle-grinder-wielding rustlers’.
‘I thought I was in danger. At one point in particular I was pinned in position with a lot of bikes in front of me and behind me and in no position to escape if I wanted to,’ Mr Derbyshire told the Evening Standard.
‘I think from their point of view of what happened, it all got a little too complicated, so they walked out.’
He said the thieves had taken their tools to the D lock of his daughter’s bike before taking the drill to Brompton.
Mr Derbyshire had witnessed the incident from behind the glass windows of the restaurant before running into the streets, where passers-by captured footage of the theft.
He said: ‘I thought I was in danger. At one point in particular I was stuck in a position with a lot of bikes in front of me and behind me and was in no position to escape if I wanted to.
Mr Derbyshire’s Brompton bike was stopped outside El Gunso cafe in Hackney, east London
Mr Derbyshire said the incident had left him shaken and depressed.
‘I think it’s disappointing and they have to be so aggressive about it. I mean, trying to scare me by shoving an angle grinder in my face. He’s not on,’ he said.
The number of crimes committed by moped offenders has increased over the past decade, with 3,803 moped crimes in 2021 compared to only 265 in 2011.
According to The Telegraph, however, this number has declined in recent years from its peak in 2017, where there were 23,909 incidents.