Architect, 70, forced to abandon his lunch to fend off power tool wielding moped thieves who were after his £2,500 bike in Hackney
- Ben Derbyshire was sat in El Ganso Café when the attempted theft happened
This is the moment an architect went face-to-face with a group of power tool wielding moped thieves who were after his £2,500 Brompton bike while he was enjoying a spot of lunch lunch nearby.
Ben Derbyshire, an esteemed architect who used to be president of the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA), 70, wrestled with the masked thieves as they targeted his expensive bike which was locked outside a café in Hackney, east London.
The gang had tried to remove the bike from its lock by using angle-grinders.
Mr Derbyshire ran out to confront the group after he saw the commotion on the street through the cafe’s glass windows and quickly realised it was his expensive bike they were after.
He can be seen grabbing his phone with one hand while firmly clutching onto his bike with the other, as the gang wearing blacked-out helmets and sat on black mopeds try to rob him.
Ben Derbyshire, an esteemed architect, was sat in El Ganson Café in Hackney, east London when the attempted theft happened
Mr Derbyshire’s son and the owner of El Ganso Cafe are then seen helping him before the thieves ride off empty handed.
The victim, who is the chairperson of architecture firm HTA Design LLP, posted the video on Twitter stating he had been involved in altercation with ‘angle-grinder-wielding rustlers’.
‘I thought I was in danger. Especially at one point I was rather pinned into position 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,’ Mr Derbyshire told the Evening Standard.
‘I think what happened was, from their point of view, it all got a bit too complicated, so they chickened out.’
He said the thieves had initially taken their tools to the D lock on his daughter’s bike before taking their drill to his Brompton.
Mr Derbyshire had seen the incident unfold from behind the glass windows of the restaurant before racing onto the streets where bystanders captured footage of the theft.
He added: ‘I thought I was in danger. Especially at one point I was rather pinned into position 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.’
Mr Derbyshire’s Brompton Bike had been locked outside the El Ganso café in Hackney, East London
Mr Derbyshire said the incident had left him shaken and depressed.
‘I just think that’s depressing and that they should be so aggressive about it. I mean, trying to intimidate me by, by pushing an angle grinder into my face. That is not on,’ he said.
The number of crimes taking place from moped riding criminals has soared in the last decade, with 3,803 moped crimes taking place in 2021 compared with just 265 in 2011.
This number, however, has come down in recent years from their peak in 2017 where there were 23,909 incidents, according to The Telegraph.