Robbed victim’s son’s warning of thieves on bikes

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The family of a plucky cycling grandmother who was knocked off her bike when she challenged a thief are warning other cyclists to be on their guard.

The warning comes as police believe the thief may have struck twice before.

In the latest incident on Saturday morning, the woman was cycling along Compton Place Road when a passing cyclist tried to grab her bag from the basket on the front of her bike.

In the tussle for the bag the two fell off their bikes and fell onto the road before the thief managed to run off with the woman’s bag towards Dittons Road. He left his bike at the scene, which is now being forensically examined.

Passers-by saw what happened and police and an ambulance was called. The woman was taken to Eastbourne DGH with minor cuts and bruises and her son is now warning other cyclists to be aware of thieves on bikes as well as appealing for information to help track them down.

“I can’t believe what a coward would prey on my mum,” he said. “People should be aware of what’s going on and to perhaps catch this coward that robbed my mum.”

Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the man running towards Dittons Road with a beige handbag.

The same man is believed to have grabbed the bags of pedestrians as he cycled past in Paradise Drive at around 7.15pm on July 1 and 6.30pm on July 7 in Cavendish Avenue.

Sergeant Gareth Evans said, “I am keen to speak to anyone who recognises the description of the cyclist or who has been offered the chance to buy bags or their contents. Thefts of this kind are thankfully relatively rare in the borough but people should not be complacent about keeping their possessions safe.”

The offender is white, 5ft 10in, skinny and was wearing jeans and a white or sandy coloured top with black stripes.