‘London’s longest bike’ back home with family after thieves find it too hot to handle

Naomie Ackerman
A family reunited with "London's longest bike"

A family was reunited with “London’s longest bike” after thieves who stole the distinctive three-seater apparently found it too hard to sell.

The Watsons returned from a hospital visit last month to find that their £2,500 Onderwater bike had been stolen from outside their flat in Somers Town, Camden.

Ben Watson, 63, had ridden the three-metre-long Dutch bike on the school run to Soho and back for the past six years with children Iris, 14, and Mordecai, 11. Thieves used bolt cutters on a locked chain securing it to railings.

After the theft, the family put up hand-drawn reward posters around the area and issued an appeal on social media, but they were at a loss until a member of the public returned the bicycle to them three weeks later — after finding it dumped in Mornington Crescent.

Musician Mr Watson said he believed thieves had realised that such a distinctive bike — it is believed to be the longest in everyday use in London — was too hard to sell on.

The Watson family appealed for the return of their bike

He said: “It was quite a shock when the bike was stolen because no one in London would be able to sell it, any shop would know it’s mine.

“I haven’t seen any other triplex in London… The thieves probably thought they might get caught with the bike as it’s a bit obvious.”

Iris said: “I was very happy when it was returned because I love that bike and when you’re on it people speak to you. It is quite unique, and so random strangers start asking what it is and how we got it, it starts conversations and that’s great. It doesn’t happen with other bikes.”

A Met spokesperson said they had received a report of the theft of a tandem bike, but no arrests had been made.