Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane?

No it's a vigilante plumber on a bike!


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The Police in Chiswick

Saturday shoppers were stopped in their tracks by the spectacle of a man running at speed along the middle of High Road shouting at a thief who had made off on his bicycle.

Explaining the course of events which led to the chase, Philip Wilkins told, "I had promised my five year old Louis a Greg's steak bake while out cycling together on Saturday so when we arrived Louis ran straight inside and started inspecting the donuts and I followed quickly to manage his selection.

"Almost immediately a staff member turned to me and asked 'Is that your bike?' I turned around and my bike was gone. It was less that 15 seconds after I had entered the shop! I told Louis to stay in the shop and ran out the door to see a man about 25m away cycling my bike. I sprinted after him shouting 'Stop that man, that's my bike!'"

Initially the thief struggled with the unfamiliar bike however once he got into his stride he cycled away towards traffic lights at the end of Acton Lane.

Philip continued, "Crowds of shoppers stopped and stared as I sprinted down the white line in the middle of the High Road shouting at the top of my voice. I gave up chasing at Town Hall Avenue but noted at that point I was passed by a speeding cyclist. Mindful of my son, I walked back to Greggs."

Philip took his son home and went out in his car to search for his 15 year old bike which he says is worth nothing more than sentimental value.

"Unsurprisingly there was no sign of the bike so around 5.00pm I went to Chiswick Police Station to report it stolen. The officer was great, as I began to tell the story he asked me if it was a red trek mountain bike. When I told him it was, he handed me my bike and said you owe Mr Jack Molloy a huge thank you."

The officer explained that Jack Molloy was the speeding cyclist that Philip had noticed passing him on the High Road. Mr Molloy had chased the thief along Sutton Lane then Heathfield Gardens before turning left on to the A4 heading east towards London where he had managed to catch up with him, urging him to get off the stolen bike.

According to Mr Molloy, the thief was undeterred and pedaled on making dangerous maneuvers amongst the A4 Traffic in an attempt to shake off his pursuer. Realising he was not going to escape, he dropped the stolen bike it in the middle of the A4 before jumping across the central reservation and running off.

Retrieving the bike, Mr Molloy tried in vain to find its rightful owner on the High Road before dropping it off at Chiswick Police Station.

A plumber from North London, Mr Molloy explained to a very grateful Philip that he was on his way to a job in Kew and because he enjoys cycling where possible he attends appointments on his bicycle with his tools stowed in panniers.

"I was just keen to help and pleased to see the bike returned." Jack Molloy said modestly.

September 21, 2009