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Break in at the SEEKRIT BUNKER


Sadly, on returning home from holiday this morning, I found that we’ve been burgled. Upon opening the front doors of our lock-up garage (known affectionately as the SEEKRIT BUNKER), I saw that someone had kicked in the smaller door at the back which was bolted and screwed shut and forced it open, pushing the heavy workbench aside to gain entry.

Although I’m still looking to see what’s gone, I can definiately say that they stole eight of our bicycles and my compound bow. There’s probably other stuff too – the garage was stuffed full of all our treasures. I wanted to start posting about my amazing time in Australia and Tasmania today, but instead I need to ask a favour. If you live in the Ealing area, please be on the look out for these bicycles. In the small ads, online and in local second hand shops.

1. Specialized Ruby road bike – carbon fibre
47cm, light blue and carbon



More bikes and pics after the jump…

2. On One Pompino fixed gear bike – steel with carbon forks
48cm, light blue



3. Dolan track bike – Aluminium
48cm, dark blue


4. Planet X road bike – carbon fibre
58cm, black carbon
***awaiting picture***

5. Roberts Transcontinental custom tourer – steel
56cm, bright red


6. Unbranded 853/Chorus road bike – steel with carbon forks

56cm, black


7. Unbranded track (fixed gear) bicycle – steel

56cm, black


8. Unbranded steel S3X fixed gear bicycle – steel

56cm, light cream / ivory – not quite finished



Also stolen:


Not something I like to think of in the hands of the local criminals.

The police have been today, as has the Scenes Of Crime Officer. He got some useable evidence about the break-in. The bikes that haven’t been stolen (they didn’t take our tandem, Brox, Yuba Mundo, my Brompton or my Mercian) have all been moved elsewhere and the garage has been secured.

Although the bikes were insured, we’ve initially been told by the insurance company that they won’t pay out. Apparently they changed the wording on our policy to exclude rented garages, despite us specifically asking for such cover when we took it out. For nearly ten grand’s worth of bicycles, we’re going to fight this, as you might expect.

If you see any of these things for sale anywhere, please mail me on fixiegirl*at*gmail*dot*com as soon as you can, or leave a comment here. Please will you also let as many of your friends know about this as possible by tweeting and reblogging this. Maybe, just maybe, we might find some of these lovely bikes.



51 Comments leave one →
  1. 24/02/2011 7:19 pm

    Oh Charlotte. That’s awful. Will repost and circulate.


  2. 24/02/2011 7:43 pm

    This really sucks…big time.

    It might be worth popping round all the pawn shops around the area (Acton, Ealing, West Ealing, Hanwell, etc).

  3. Amoeba permalink
    24/02/2011 7:56 pm

    So sorry!

  4. 24/02/2011 8:04 pm

    Terrible. My heart sinks when I read about such things. Will keep a look out.

  5. 24/02/2011 8:25 pm

    So sorry, love. Will spread the word. And tell my invisible friends.


  6. charlottebarnes permalink*
    24/02/2011 8:35 pm

    Thanks guys. Any and all suggestions and assistance (supernatural or otherwise) gratefully accepted.

    Especially if it involves an appropriate (and messy) comeuppance for the individuals who did this.

  7. Peter permalink
    24/02/2011 8:52 pm

    This is absolutely terrible. You must be very angry, and to cap it all the scumbag insurers are trying to weasel their way out of paying up. You have my deepest sympathy. These are quite distinctive bikes so hopefully someone my spot it if word gets around.

  8. 24/02/2011 8:52 pm

    Terrible news, name and shame the insurance company.

    I’ll keep a look out for your bikes up here too, a long shot but you never know.

    Good luck with the claim.

  9. 24/02/2011 9:14 pm

    That’s awful news, and not even just one bike but eight of them!

    Will share on Facebook and keep an eye out in West London.

    Good Luck

  10. Lindsay permalink
    24/02/2011 9:50 pm

    That’s utterly cack. I hope you can get at least some of them back.

  11. Ben permalink
    24/02/2011 9:53 pm

    That’s utterly, utterly despicable of such…unmentionables. I’m so sorry to hear it, must be totally gut wrenching. Hoping for recovery of them.

  12. Evey Allsopp permalink
    24/02/2011 10:08 pm

    so sorry to here that. We had a couple of bikes stolen and it is so emotional! Hope that they are recovered, thinking of you,

    evey x

  13. David Cox permalink
    24/02/2011 10:08 pm

    Hi Charlotte and Liz,

    This is very sad. Your bikes are quite distinctive and might be hard to sell the whole lot without someone noticing. I’ve also had a Mercian left by thieves with no taste but fortunately many years ago. The cross bow thing is terrifying.


  14. Stuart permalink
    24/02/2011 10:46 pm

    Rotten news in so many ways. Hope you get recovery or full restitution.

  15. 24/02/2011 10:57 pm

    That’s awful. Have you tried these 10 tips to recover stolen bikes Also check out carboot sales and local scrap yards

  16. Lewin permalink
    24/02/2011 10:58 pm

    It’s definitely worth saving searches for these bikes on eBay. Ebay emails you any matches daily and you check whether they’re yours. My mate did this and got his Time bike back.

  17. 24/02/2011 10:58 pm

    Don’t forget to keep an eye on it collates all Bike adverts in one place from the usual suspects, Gumtree, e-bay etc.

  18. 25/02/2011 12:00 am

    I’m really sorry to hear that. Are the stolen bikes registered at ? If so, hopefully the police will be able to get them back to you. If not, I recommend using that for your remaining bikes; if you have the frame numbers for the stolen bikes, you could add them too.

  19. 25/02/2011 10:19 am

    Oh no! What a crappy welcome back to London. So sorry to hear about all that lost gorgeous bike treasure. Will keep an eye out and pass the word around. xx

  20. 25/02/2011 11:22 am

    Just seen this Charlotte. Let me at the thieving scrote(s)!

    Linked to this thread in my blog.

  21. Dave. permalink
    25/02/2011 11:33 am

    Really sorry to hear about your bikes getting stolen, I had three taken a few years ago and it’s sickening. I’m in liverpool and these items could be anywhere in the country so we should all be looking.
    As for insurance companies most of them should be prosecuted for fraud and shut down.

  22. Tom permalink
    25/02/2011 11:53 am

    If you have any record of your having asked the garage to be covered under your insurance, then if they failed to do it they failed to provide a product that matched your needs. Insurance companies generally record phone calls. If it was in a phone call, ask for a copy of the recording.

    If they get stroppy say that you intend to take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

    My wife is a lawyer with a professional interest in FOS. If you have problems, I’d be interested to hear what they are.

  23. 25/02/2011 12:41 pm

    Charlotte, what a horrible welcome home for you, this sucks beyond belief :o(

    It could well be a local thief if they’ve used the chance to break in whilst you were away, in which case I recommend flyering your whole local area with posters of your bikes – my brother did this when canoes were nicked from his shed and they re-appered in his garden one night. Might shame someone in to action… not likely, but worth a try.

    Sorry again!

  24. 25/02/2011 1:24 pm

    Hi Charlotte. I’ve got a contact at Met Police Cycle Task Force – do you want? Sorry to hear but spreading word via Bikesoup Facebookm page & twitter etc…. Antony

  25. Tim permalink
    25/02/2011 3:36 pm

    Really sorry to hear about the theft of your bikes. It might be an idea to keep an eye out at your local railway station cycle racks, as I found my mates stolen bike from my local station.

    • Jean King permalink
      26/02/2011 9:33 pm

      Ironic that you should mention station bike parks – my Specialized Vita Sport was stolen from Ealing Broadway Station bike park (right next to the taxi rank) on Monday!

  26. Mick permalink
    25/02/2011 3:43 pm

    HEY ,sorry for your loss,they are scum and complete and utter bastards.I have just lost my tricked out orange crush,in Liverpool to a break inn,I felt so ill when it happened!but even iller when the insurance company said”i should of been a stipulated item on the policy😦,why cant they work for stuff like the rest of us,and why are the punishments not strong enough,I’m not saying incarsinate all,but make it damn shit when they do!!!

    • Mick permalink
      25/02/2011 7:59 pm

      syntax “that was in·car·cer·ate” dope!!!

  27. Opus the Poet permalink
    25/02/2011 4:35 pm

    What a shame! I had one of my bikes stolen that had required substantial amounts of fabricating to make parts that made it rideable, and the police never even sent anyone over. I don’t have many UK readers at my blog but I’ll link this story anyway, just in case.

    I wouldn’t worry about that bow getting in the wrong hands, archery takes skill and practice, much more than a firearm. I’m sure it was stolen for resale to make a buck, not to have a weapon to use in committing a crime.

  28. W Patterson permalink
    25/02/2011 7:53 pm

    Hope you get them all back. At least it sounds as if police are taking the matter seriously. When a commuting bike was recently stolen from a locked communal area in a Glasgow tenement, comment from attending officer was ‘You should get a car’. Cars never get stolen in cities?

  29. steveindenmark permalink
    25/02/2011 9:25 pm

    Hi Charlotte,

    What a PITA….and that is just your insurance company. Getting robbed once is bad enough but twice is really bad.

    8 bikes stolen either means they live locally or they have had transport to move them.

    Hopefully they will not know what they have and will end up abandoning them locally or selling them to the local scallies.

    I really hope you get them back-


  30. Lara Feline Day permalink
    25/02/2011 10:45 pm

    OMG how awful, and even worse that you now have to deal with insurance cockwombles as well.
    I will keep an eye out on whatever sites I can, really hope with enough of us looking we can find the perpetrators.

  31. Patrick McLoughlin permalink
    25/02/2011 11:37 pm

    Thieving scumbags. Heartfelt commiserations.

    Have you put Ebay searches on this lot?

  32. Fran Barton permalink
    26/02/2011 9:00 am

    Liz and Charlotte,
    That’s simply horrible in so many ways. You must be seething.
    I don’t know anything about recovering your bikes but most of the ideas sound pretty time-consuming. But the insurance company must not get away with this. Bastards.

    Very best of luck with it.

  33. Masood permalink
    26/02/2011 6:08 pm

    So sorry to read this. I’m 90 degrees clockwise round the North Circular from you, but you never know where they may turn up. Will keep my eyes peeled and fingers crossed.

  34. Shane Rhodes permalink
    26/02/2011 7:50 pm

    I do hope you have a positive result recovering the bikes – but don’t forget, the insurance company also rates as criminal. Post their name. It may force their hand if other people are known to be shunning them!
    Good luck. Shane

  35. Simon permalink
    26/02/2011 9:27 pm

    Sorry to hear about the theft, as a fellow cyclist and archer, I feel for your loss.

  36. Jean King permalink
    26/02/2011 9:42 pm

    Will keep my eye open for these beautiful bikes. How one wishes the thieving bar stewards could have a particularly nasty accident! My white Specialized Vita Sport was liberated from the bike rack opposite Ealing Broadway station on Monday, February 21st – exactly next to the taxi rank. Why is our local council paying huge amounts of money for cctv if bikes are stolen EVERY week from this bike park?

    Good luck with your searches and good luck pursuing the insurance company – like you don’t have enough to do!

  37. Bill Burke permalink
    27/02/2011 12:23 pm

    Sorry to trust hear of your loss. I locked my bikes in the shed and take my Brompton with me.

    Use old bikes eg 3 speed hub40 year old for local journeys. Professionals will not steal old bikes

  38. Richard permalink
    27/02/2011 4:49 pm

    Sure you know this but I saved searches for all my bicycles and also certain parts that were fitted and desirable such as dynamo hubs etc and then when I did see something on ebay or other classifieds I checked their other items and seller history. I did get a lead by doing this and I recovered items after having to buy them back-ended up 35 miles away. The above assumes that the thieves have some knowledge but if they don’t the stuff usually ends up with people who do know the value.

  39. Simon permalink
    28/02/2011 7:05 am

    Just a thought, but whilst out yesterday riding and ranting about the various injustices of life.
    What are your plans for future security?
    If you need a hand with making anchors or grilles/gates, drop me a line.
    Simon (loadsabikes)

  40. col permalink
    28/02/2011 12:42 pm

    After a break in our bikes are now so secure it takes friggin ages to access them. Ground anchors, multiple top end D-locks, motorcycle chains, various alarms and Other Devices mean they’re pretty safe, even to us, which rules out impromptu rides.

    I don’t have any answers except keep your chin up.

  41. John CB permalink
    28/02/2011 4:14 pm

    So sorry to hear this. I know the feeling – awful.

  42. Amoeba permalink
    28/02/2011 4:46 pm

    Just a thought, and it’s a depressing one, that experience is that burglars who are successful are likely to come back, when ‘in their minds’ you’ve had everything replaced by insurance, even though I understand this may not happen. So, a serious rethink in terms of upgraded security and perhaps location is on the cards.

    Regarding the insurance company’s refusal to pay-out, you might consider the insurance ombudsman.

    I wish you luck.

  43. Ruben permalink
    01/03/2011 10:57 am

    Probably worth to go and have a look in Brick Lane this weekend, I know plenty of people who do not mind buying bargains there despite knowing they can not be honest second hand acquisitions.

  44. Dan Talbot permalink
    02/03/2011 1:44 am

    That is a shitty thing. Luckily they didn’t get your penny. If it helps, I have a very nice Eddie Merczk aluminium frame and fork that I’m happy to send over to you.

    • charlottebarnes permalink*
      03/03/2011 10:01 am

      Thanks Dan – that’s a really kind offer. They didn’t take all our bikes and we’ve both at last got one left for general getting about, so we’re okay for the time being. But thank you 🙂

  45. Monkeyboy permalink
    06/03/2011 3:53 pm

    That’s rotten!

    Just posted on the Time Trialling Forum for you.

    Good luck.


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