Holloway cyclist fined after his stolen motorbike was dumped
A photographer was told to pay hundreds of pounds to get his stolen motorbike back – after it was impounded because the thief dumped it.
Owner Charlie Pycraft, 42, was pleased to hear the bike had been found – but he was immediately hit with a �150 fine to get it out of the compound, plus �20 for every day it stayed there.
The bike had been stolen in Benwell Road, Holloway, last November, before turning up abandoned on an Islington estate in June, where it was removed by a parking enforcement firm contracted by Homes for Islington (HfI).
He said: “They sent me a letter saying I would have to pay to get it out. I said it had been stolen, but they just said once they have taken it, that’s it – you’ve got to pay to get it back.
“It was unjust. I was being asked to pay for someone else’s criminal behaviour.”
The company was immediately informed by police that the bike was stolen but still demanded cash.
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“I argued with them, but they were adamant, and the fee was just going up and up,” he added.
“It was only a �700 bike, so in the end it just wasn’t worth it. But it wasn’t my fault it was stolen and then left there – and the police seemed to think it was pretty unfair as well.”
He was told the bike would be destroyed if he did not pay up. This week the Gazette contacted HfI and, after weeks of wrangling with the parking company, Mr Pycraft has now been told he can have the bike back for nothing.
A spokesman for HfI said: “We sympathise with Mr Pycraft’s situation. In cases like this we will release the vehicle and waive or refund all associated charges on production of a valid crime reference number and victim of crime letter, assuming that the theft was reported before the owner was notified that the vehicle had been impounded. This number and letter is provided by the police when you report your property stolen.”