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Moment famous architect, 70, fights off gang of moped thieves


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‘They’ve gone mad!’: Moment’s leading architect, 70, battles gang of moped thieves who tried to steal his £2,500 Brompton bike with an angle grinder

  • Ben Derbyshire was sitting in El Ganso Cafe when the attempted theft happened

This is when an architect came face to face with a group of power tool moped thieves who were after his £2,500 Brompton bike while he was having lunch.

Ben Derbyshire, an esteemed architect who was president of the Royal Institute for British Architects, 70, struggled with the masked thieves as they targeted his expensive bicycle that was locked outside a cafe in East London’s Hackney.

The gang had tried to unlock the bicycle with angle grinders.

Mr Derbyshire ran out to confront the group after seeing the commotion in the street through the cafe’s glass windows and soon realized it was his expensive bike they were after.

He can be seen grabbing his phone with one hand while clinging tightly to his bike with the other as the gang of blacked-out helmets tries to rob him.

He was surrounded by a group of masked thieves brandishing angle grinders

Ben Derbyshire, an esteemed architect, was sitting in a cafe in Hackney, East London, when the attempted robbery took place

Mr. Derbyshire’s son and the owner of El Ganso Cafe then help him before the thieves drive off empty-handed.

The victim, the president of architecture firm HTA Design LLP, posted the video to Twitter and said he had been involved in an “argument with angle grinder-wielding rustlers.”

He told the Evening Standard“I thought I was in danger. At one point in particular I was quite pinned down with a lot of bikes in front of me and people behind me and I wasn’t in a position to run away if I wanted to.

“I think what happened, from their point of view, it all got a little too complicated, so they kept quiet.”

He said the thieves first took their tools to the D-lock on his daughter’s bike before taking their drill to his Brompton.

Mr Derbyshire had seen the incident through the windows of the pub before running out onto the street where bystanders captured footage of the theft.

Mr Derbyshire's Brompton bike was locked outside El Ganso cafe

Mr Derbyshire’s Brompton bike was locked outside El Ganso cafe

Mr Derbyshire said he was shocked by the incident, adding: ‘I just find that depressing and that they should be so aggressive about it. I mean, trying to intimidate me by shoving an angle grinder in my face. That’s not on.’

The number of crimes committed by moped offenders has skyrocketed over the past decade, with 3,803 moped offenses in 2021 compared to just 365 in 2011.

However, this number has fallen in recent years from its peak in 2017, when there were 23,909 incidents, according to The Telegraph.

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