Croydon has a handful of bicycle shops, ranging from top end bikes and parts to the lower end bikes. Geoffrey Butler Cycles recently told Cycling Weekly their story from the night of the riots last month.
Geoffrey Butler Cycles is located in the high street of South Croydon, a world of difference from West Croydon where the rioters where kicking off. Stephen Delaney, manager of Geoffrey Butler Cycles, went to his store at around 8pm and the door to his shop was already kicked in and several thousand pounds worth of stock was already missing, included a Team Sky Pinarello Dogma with Di2 Dura-Ace worth over £7,000. He decided the best way to protect his store was to stay up all night and protect it him self, he called some colleagues and friends to come and help him out, they blocked up the door with Calmpagnolo delivery boxes.
Geoffrey Butler Cycles also owns Bike Plus which is situated just a few miles down the road, at around midnight Mr Delaney received a call that this was also being broken into and rushed down there. In front of him was two white vans which pulled up by the shop but drove off as he got out. Quite clearly showing the intent of the thieves. Only a few bikes were taken from Bike Plus, and again staff arrived and stayed in the shop all night to protect it as the Police didn’t have the resources to protect local shop keepers.
In total Geoffrey Butler and Bike Plus had £40,000 worth of stock taken.
Cycle King which is based just down the road from Geoffrey Butler was completely cleared out, an estimated 600 bikes were taken which totalled over £120,000 worth of stock. As mentioned before, it is thought that this was done by an organised group of people. This looting was done well away from all the other action and looters turned up in white vans and packed them full of goods. Cycle King was forced to change the shutters they had several years ago by the council as they didn’t fit in with the rest of the high street. And as a result the cheaper ones where no match for organised criminals.