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My stolen motorbike and Twitter

The thoughts of Richard Osborne on many subjects over the years.

My stolen motorbike and Twitter

It has been a couple of months since my last blog post, and mainly down to time constraints and also the only things I could think of blogging about in my life were commercially sensitive. Bad excuse I know, but then this happened to me…

This is my stolen Yamaha R1 taken a couple of months before it was stolen from outside my office on Moulton Park, Northampton

This is a picture of my stolen Yamaha R1 taken a couple of months before it was stolen from outside my office on Moulton Park, Northampton

Tuesday 15th September was my birthday, and for a treat I thought I’d take my pride and joy to work. My motorbike that I’d worked my nuts off for and bought as a birthday present to myself 5 years ago. When I’d managed to clear the 3 credit cards and bank loans I’d ran up starting Quick Formations. I always enjoy riding my bike, the freedom it gives you away from ringing phones, and being such a symbolic purchase has high sentimental value to me.

This post is partly to let as many people know what happened as possible, in case anyone saw the bike being transported, but also the speed in which the message spread through Twitter absolutely amazed me. That in itself demonstrated to me the power of using Twitter to send out an urgent or immediate message.

At 12:50pm on Tuesday 15th September a tatty looking grey Transit type van reversed up a kerb onto a central decorative area of our car park where my bike was parked. In broad view of 20 offices mind, in front of two witnesses who were in the car park at the time. The van registration was S425 UOF, and appeared to have a roof rack and possibly 3x pipes on its roof.

Two men got out of the van, one wearing black motorcycle leathers and a dark blue or possibly black crash helmet. The other was wearing blue jeans, white trainers, and a white sweater or jumper with blue horizontal stripes. This man had brown hair but quickly put on a blue cap. They both appeared of stocky build and around 5ft 10″ to 6ft tall. They went round ot the back of the van, picked up my bike which isn’t light, and put it in the back of the van. The one in leathers jumped in the back with the bike, the other shut the van doors and drove the van away at speed.

The police were notified within 5 minutes and managed to track the van through surveilance camera’s and ANPR camera’s. The van was found within about 45 minutes.

Where Twitter came in is that I posted the following message on Twitter;

“My m/bike just stolen 10 mins ago, blue R1. Thrown in battered grey transit reg S425 UOF in Moulton Park , Northampton Please RT” – you can view it here.

Within minutes the message had been ReTweeted countless times, the message had been posted on biker forums around the UK, the local paper had picked up on it and posted a story here, other business owners I know around Northampton had started emailing messages to each other spreading the news. Telling everyone to keep an eye out for my bike. Within an hour of my bike being stolen social media had spread the news as far afield as Newcastle and as far south as Cornwall. Just searching on Google already shows how far the message has travelled, and that is what websites Google has crawled already.

One last thing I am hoping is to find my bike before it is destroyed by those who stole it, and sold off for spare parts or smashed up. They wont be able to sell it on the open market easily as every component is tagged and marked with MagicWater, so I dread to think what could happen to my pride and joy. So I am hoping if anyone around the Northampton area saw a blue sports motorbike being delivered by some men matching the above description, please call the police on 03000 111222. This delivery would have happened some time between 1pm and 2pm on Tuesday 15th September. It could have been to a house, a lockup, a warehouse. This location would be within an hours drive from Moulton Park Office Village, Northampton. My bike was parked alongside the tree in the centre raised area you will see on that satellite picture.

I am a big fan of social networking, always have been, but the support from everyone else helping spread the message so quickly after my bike being stolen is heart warming. I keep saying it on Twitter, but again, Thank You.

I hope this blog post goes a step closer to me getting my bike back. I know the insurance money could get me another, but it won’t be “My Bike”.

Comments (2)

  1. Sep 17, 2009

    News did actually reach Poland in minutes, and I expect much further than here too.

    As a fellow biker I do hope to hear more good news on this. Could be a rare time guys like this are actually caught so I hope they are stewing at the moment.

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