A man who had an appointment with police to “buy back” a bike which he claims was the one stolen from him in a street robbery says officers just “didn’t turn up” to help.

Matthew Sparkes, who lives in Lewisham, was chased by a driver and four youths on electric scooters before his bicycle was stolen in Bromley on Sunday, November 28.

Shortly after the incident, his girlfriend found a bike for sale which he suspected to be his.

He says it was being sold by someone he recognises as one of his muggers.

The pair contacted the seller with a “made up story” about wanting to “buy it back”.

Matthew told the News Shopper: “My girlfriend contacted the seller with a made-up story about wanting to buy it, and we told the police that it was mine and that I recognised the seller as one of the muggers.

“We even passed on the address that he’d given us.

News Shopper: photo: Matthew Sparkes and his bikephoto: Matthew Sparkes and his bike

“I arranged a time to buy it and called the police that evening but they couldn’t attend as there were no officers free.

“Instead we made an appointment for a few days later (December 18 at 8pm) and the guy on the phone told me that the officers would call before the appointment and tell me what to do – either meet near the seller’s house or at my place.”

Matthew, aged in his 30s, was returning from a swim in Beckenham Place Park when the pursuit began on Farmfield Road, continuing onto Valeswood Road.

The group caught up with him on Downham Way and took hold of his Genesis Smithfield Borough bike before fleeing.

Matthew said his bike is “very sentimental” and that it had a Royal Mail box on the front at the time.

News Shopper: Matthew SparkesMatthew Sparkes

He explained: “When the day and time rolled around to go buy the bike back there was no call from police and no officers turned up.

“I emailed the police contact I’d been speaking to the next day as she’d emailed asking for receipts for the bike and that sort of thing and she said she knew nothing about it as it was a different department.”

Matthew said he “never heard” from the original officer who took a statement on the day of the mugging.

He also has “no idea” who he’s supposed to be dealing with at the Met Police – but said getting through on 101 to ask questions takes “20 minutes every time”.

Matthew added: “I still don’t know what happened, but it seems that the mugger is going to get away with selling my bike in broad daylight and I’ll never see it again.”

The Metropolitan Police has been approached for comment.

A statement at the time of the mugging from a Met Police spokesperson said: “ “Police are investigating a report of a robbery that occurred at 1.23pm on Sunday, November 28, in Valeswood Road, Bromley.

“It was reported that a man aged his 30s was approached by a group of people who stole his bike.

“Enquiries are ongoing.

"There have been no arrests.”

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