Edinburgh NHS worker appeals for return of stolen bike after thief 'spent 10 minutes' breaking lock

An Edinburgh NHS worker is appealing for help to trace her stolen bike which she used to get to and from work.

By Jamie McKenzie
Friday, 8th May 2020, 2:47 pm
Updated Friday, 8th May 2020, 2:58 pm

Lottie Qayle, an administrator for the substance misuse service in Links Place in Leith, says CCTV from a local guest house shows a man spending about 10 minutes breaking the armoured lock from the bike rack beside her workplace.

The 29-year-old, who lives in Broughton, said cameras captured him cycling off in the direction of John’s Place at about 3:55pm last Friday, May 1st.

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Lottie with the bike which was stolen in Links Place on Friday, May 1st.

Speaking to the Evening News today, Lottie said: “It’s my vehicle of freedom. It’s the only thing that helps me cope with the lockdown to get out and about and get to and from work.

“I am incensed that someone could do this. It’s someone who is probably just desperate. It might be someone who would normally be shoplifting and can not do that right now, so going to desperate measures for stealing in other ways.

“The thief might see it as a cheap way to make money but it’s not theirs to sell. Stealing from an NHS worker at a time like this is disgusting.”

Lottie, who only bought the bike six weeks ago, says she arrived at work around 8:25am last Friday and secured her bike in the bike rack as usual. She did not leave the building until 4:25pm – staff don’t currently leave for lunch due to shop closures – and was greeted with the lock in two pieces on the ground.

The stolen bike.

She reported the incident to police and shared the appeal in the Facebook group Stolen Bike Register Edinburgh.

The CCTV, from a camera outside the Poplar Lane Guest House, only shows the bottom half of the man who took the bike and he was wearing dark trousers and shoes.

She has also spoken with a colleague who had heard about two other cases of bikes being stolen from NHS workers in the same week her own bike was stolen.

Lottie’s bike

Lottie’s bike has a blue-grey frame with the Carrera Vengeance logo on the down tube, which her tyre pump is also attached to.

The bike has 27.5 inch black tyres, straight handlebars with a bell next to the left-hand brake, grey mudguards on both tyres and front and rear lights attached around the headset and seatpost. The frame number is 1590513794.

Lottie, who works eight-hour shifts Monday to Friday, says she’s now had to borrow a road bike from someone for transport to and from work.

She hopes someone out there may have seen something last Friday, or in the days since, which can help track her bike down.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Officers were called to a report of a bike stolen from outside a premises on Links Place, Edinburgh, between 8.30am and 4.25pm on Friday, 1 May, 2020.

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police via 101, quoting reference number 2662 of 1 May.”

Anyone contacting police can also use the crime reference number CR/027170/20.