their bikes properly and suggests employers could help by providing secure storage for cyclists. The trend, which will be a blow to efforts to encourage cycling, emerged as Met figures show the 20 London wards with the most bicycle thefts. The worst- hit areas include the West End and St Jamess, both in Westminster, where Supt Matthew Foley warned cycle thieves were increasingly active. He said extra patrols had failed to curb a rise in offending which has seen 426 cycles stolen since the start of April, compared with 244 in the same period last year -- a 75 per cent rise. He said: I am a keen cyclist so I do feel for people and know how infuriating it must be. Mr Foley said there was growing evidence organised gangs were tar- geting bicycles. He said cyclists could help to reduce the risk by using more than one lock and removing detachable parts, such as wheels or saddles. CYCLE theft in central London has risen by 75 per cent in four months as crimi- nals exploit the growing popularity of riding to work. Among the worst hit areas are Cavendish Square, just off Oxford Street, Soho Square and the streets between Covent Garden and the Strand where thieves are targeting quieter locations not covered by CCTV. The Met says the surge, which has led to an additional 182 thefts since April in the borough of Westminster, is partly due to more cycles being parked on the streets and also because there is a grow- ing market for stolen bikes. It warns some cyclists are failing to protect London Lite Wednesday, 12 August 2009 11 Organised crime leads to 75% leap in bike theft Momentheistganggotawaywith40mgems THIS is the moment an armed gang escaped with 40m of jewellery by dragging a hostage into a Mayfair street. The scene, left, was caught on a mobile phone by a passer-by and shows the two gunmen walking away from Graff Diamonds, down New Bond Street to a BMW. The men are holding a Graff staff member and appear to be challenged by security staff. The men turn and fire a warning shot to keep them back. The two- minute raid last Thursday is believed to be the biggest gems robbery in British history. The two smartly dressed robbers conned their way past guards before pulling out guns and threatening staff. Detectives believe the men were stealing to order and targeted the most expensive items on show. Today it emerged there were at least three getaway vehicles nearby with different drivers. by mark blunden Westminsterisworsthitarea OAP wanted for butting girl, 16 POLICE are hunting a man in his eighties who head-butted a girl of 16 on the nose after she asked him to say sorry for stepping on her shoes. The man, who had long grey hair, fled after last Wednesdays attack in Sheerness, Kent. Persistencepays for tortoise, 110 A 110-yEAr-OLd tortoise named Billy is to become a dad, after pursuing his wife Tammy, 47, for 15 years. Shes been a difficult one to crack, but it shows persistence pays off when chasing a woman, said owner Peter Crane, of Norfolk. PAuL rOSS and Jo Good, right, want to do a live broadcast of their BBC London 94.9 Breakfast Show next month from a London street -- your street. All they need is an invite from you (well, that, a cup of tea and a bacon sarnie). To be part of the show, email joandpaul@ before 31 August. Must... grab your 15 minutes of fame tonight! Caught on CCTV: the two men walk calmly into Graff DiamondsTerror: raiders bundle their hostage into the street after stealing gems Surge: some bikes are not properly secured index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html