Brazen thieves have been filmed cutting through a bike lock in broad daylight before threatening bystanders with an angle grinder when they tried to intervene.
Sparks can be seen shooting into the air in video footage of the masked men sawing through a chain attached to railings while another jumps up and down on the bike in an attempt to dislodge it.
Someone can be heard giving details to police over the phone, while one man shouts: “Boys, I’m calling the police. You better go, run. F*** off. What are you doing? F*** off.”
A bystander who has kept a grip on the red foldable Brompton throughout the incident attempts to wrestle the bike from the smallest member of the group, who shouts: “Let go of my bike.”
As more men step in and grab hold of the handlebars, the youngster snatches the whirring angle grinder from his friend’s hand and lunges towards the group shouting: “F****** come near me, I dare you. Who’s gonna come near me.”
The bystanders jump back and the four youngsters race off down the street.
Meanwhile, in Hackney pic.twitter.com/UIvhTyyf1w— Fuckoffee Bethnal Green (@jonestowncoffee)February 19, 2020
Fuckoffee Bethnal Green shared the footage on Twitter, adding: “This video was taken by a customer of ours about two weeks ago. Location is near London Fields.”
According to the Metropolitan Police’s crime data dashboard, Hackney had the highest number of bike thefts out of all of London’s boroughs last year, with 1,750 crimes recorded between January and December.
Metropolitan Police said in a statement: “Police are aware of a video circulating on social media appearing to show the theft of a bike and threats being made against a member of the public in Westgate Street, Hackney.
“At this time, no report of the actual incident has been made and no victims have come forward.
“Officers were made aware of the video on Wednesday, 19 February, and an investigation is underway to determine the circumstances of the incident and locate any suspects.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact officers in Hackney on 101, or to remain 100 per cent anonymous, please give information via the charity Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111/crimestoppers-uk.org”
Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK