I heard some noise outside my window last night, and looked out
to see a couple of behooded youths out on the chore. Apparently,
one of their stolen bicycles had come without a seatpost and
saddle, and they were looking for a replacement. They tried my
theft-release seatpost, but threw it back
into the garden after determining that it didn’t fit. (That must be
about the only time that the bicycle industry’s bloody-minded
refusal to standardise seatpost diameters has actually had a
At this point, discussing where to go next, they looked up to see me looking at them. They scarpered, with a parting threat:
—If the Old Bill turn up, I’m putting a brick through your window!
Charming. Of course I wasn’t going to call the police. I hadn’t seen them steal anything, couldn’t see what they looked like under their hoods in the dark, and they’d already gone. And I have no faith in the Police’s ability or motivation to stop petty crime, especially since a large portion of the national crime prevention budget seems to be wasted on big yellow posters warning us that it’s our fault if our mobile phones/MP3 players/satnavs get stolen.
Unfortunately, after all the excitement and adrenalin, I couldn’t get to sleep for a few hours. I’d like to say that I prevented a theft, but it’s more likely that I merely displaced it.