Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

Rail worker saved man's bike from thief then waited hours to return it

A railway worker who bravely stopped a thief from stealing a bike waited four hours after his shift ended to safely return it to its owner.

Abdul El-Gayar, 31, was on his way out from work when he saw a man trying to cut a bike lock with a pair of bolt cutters outside London’s Cannon Street station. Instead of walking by or trying to call someone for help, Abdul ‘didn’t think twice’ before confronting the man to stop the theft.

‘I heard the sound of a lock being snapped and I didn’t think twice,’ added Abdul. ‘I said “You’re not taking that back”. I couldn’t let that happen.

‘Voices were raised a little – I said “It’s not your bike”… The guy eventually gave up and walked off. I put the bike into safe storage because the lock had been broken.’

Abdul, who himself cycles to work, said he knows what great ‘value’ bikes are to commuters and had been determined to save the stranger’s bicycle. He then waited hours for him to show up.

That stranger was Steve Farmer, 39, from Guildford, Surrey, who was ‘gutted’ when he got back to the station after work and realised his bike had gone.

Steve, who works nearby, had locked it outside the station four hours earlier after forgetting his security pass on the first day back in the office – meaning he couldn’t secure his bike there.

He said: ‘It was so dead in the morning around Cannon Street, and I had my son’s lock – used for locking it up at the park – in my bag, so thought I would use that, get a security pass and come back.

‘But the day just cracked on. It was the one day I didn’t use a D-lock.’

He added: ‘I was annoyed that I had used a bad lock to lock it up with. I was resigned to the fact I would never see it again, but trudged back up to the station, thinking there was no point really in asking for the security cameras but wanted to try anyway.’

But he was met by Abdul, who asked him to put his code into the lock, before returning the bike to him.

‘I can’t thank Abdul enough, he is such a top man. The world needs more Abduls, he is a legend of a man and a credit to his employer,’ said Steve.

Abdul said: ‘City people finish work at about 5.30/6pm – it came to 6pm and I was wondering where the owner might be when a young man came through the station.

‘I was only too happy to help – I couldn’t let a bike theft happen right in front of my eyes.’

The attempted theft has been reported to the City of London Police.

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