Someone's locked their bike to mine - help!

leeAberfa Posts: 2
edited April 2018 in Commuting general
Hi. Someone's locked their bike to mine, and I'm after some advice on what I can do about it. My first thought was that they were planning to steal my bike, but it's been there for a week now - so if they were going to nick it, they would have done it by now, surely?

A few friends have suggested breaking the lock. I've asked the police if they can help - they said no (no actual crime has been committed) and even they suggested breaking the lock. But it's in a very public place - right outside Bow Street Magistrate's Court, opposite the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden - and I'm worried that I'll attract attention and then I'll get in trouble for it. Plus I'm not sure what tools I would need to use to break the lock

Any useful suggestions or advice would be gratefully received - I want my bike back!! Thanks.


  • Ask if a copper can be with you, break the lock, lock the other dudes bike and hand the key to the copper? AFAIK, the general public would probably not bat an eye lid even if you broke the lock without copper support. But there may always be a hero vigilante waiting around the corner for a righteous punch up of a would be thief.
  • grant2307
    grant2307 Posts: 135
    I'd happily remove the lock if someone attached their bike to mine, I agree if you feel uncomfortable to ask if a police officer can be with you.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 73,607
    It is a trick that is often used by bike thieves.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Who locks their bike up there for a week ?

    You definitely haven't locked yours to his as well have you ?
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Arguably there has been a crime committed - they (unintentionally perhaps) are depriving you of your possession - by preventing you from using it in the manner intended.

    2 options
    1) get a cheap lock - cut the lock that's preventing you from getting your bike - re-lock with the new lock and leave a note for the owner on how they can get the key.
    2) cut the lock, take both bikes home - but first leave a note for the owner so they can contact you to retrieve their bike - that's not theft as you're not depriving them of their bike.

    If it's outside a magistrates court - you could wait a long time - if the owner went to court but exited through a different door ....
  • tangled_metal
    tangled_metal Posts: 4,021
    Surely breaking the lock in the presence of a police officer then locking it with a cheap lock and leaving the key somewhere with a note on the bike. Place note inside a sealed, clear plastic bag or laminate it so the note stays intact until read by bike owner. I would suggest leaving key with the first manned post you see in the magistrates court.

    BTW I've never been to magistrates court or any court still in use. So I have no idea if they have any kind of manned reception in the front entrance.

    Whatever you do you have to be open to the law and you have to get your possession back without depriving the other bike owner of their possession. Temporarily depriving then of out by leaving it with one of your locks isn't permanently depriving them of it. Just make sure you leave all keys with whoever you choose to leave them with. I'd also leave the packaging for the lock especially if it lists the number of keys. That way they could use the lock until they get a better one with a degree of confidence that you haven't got a key or there isn't a key with others less honest than you.

    Long winded way of saying get your bike back in the presence of police and leave their bike secure with means for its recovery by the owner m
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Potential issue with getting your bike back in the presence of Police - you'll have to prove that your bike is yours - as atm - it's just locked up with a lock that you've put on there and a lock that you haven't ... how does the policeman know that you are the rightful owner of your bike?
  • milemuncher1
    milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472

    Tubular lock picks, never leave home without them.

    Failing that


    These bad boys will make mince meat out of any bike lock.

    If people are stupid / clumsy / locking their bike to yours on purpose, they can’t argue if you take their lock out, in my view.
  • thistle_
    thistle_ Posts: 7,214
    If you don't re-lock the other bike, are you depriving them of the bike or is that being left to somebody else?
  • Speaking of lock picks, I have a few at home and it's not too difficult to pick the cheap locks, you can just practise a bit at home, then when spring g your steed free, jingle around your keys as you pick the lock and no one will suspect a thing...

    The adrenaline rush will turn you to the kinky side in a heart beat.

    CCTV near?
  • milemuncher1
    milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    It’s happened to people I know several times. The tubular picks usually do the trick, and it doesn’t damage their lock. So they just poppped the idiot’s lock back on, no one’s the wiser. They fit in the jersey pocket, no problem. I’ve only once known anyone need the bolt croppers. In that case, they used a cheapo Poundland lock to replace the busted lock, with the keys taped to their saddle, and I think that was generous of them.