Bike mechanic who tackled thief admits there was no strategy, 'it was just instinct'
The bicycle mechanic who became an internet sensation when a video of him tackling a bike thief in Dublin went viral has said he only had a split second to act.
Brave Marius Judickas (31) was locking up the 360 Cycles store and repair shop in Clontarf on Monday when the incident happened.
When he saw the youth trying to take the €2,500 carbon frame model Marius jumped on him, bringing him, the thief, and the bike crashing onto the road outside the shop,
Video from the shop’s CCTV system shows how Marius was only out of site of the bike for 17 seconds when the thieves struck.
The actual time it took for the thief to grab the bike and try to pedal away from the shop was less than five seconds.
"It was bank holiday Monday and we should have been closed at 6pm but we were very busy so I stayed longer," Marius told the Herald.
"I had brought my bike, which is a carbon Merida Cyclocross 5000, outside and was just locking the door of the shop when I sensed it moving," he explained.
"Then I just heard somebody shouting ‘go, go, go’ so I knew there was something wrong and when I looked around I could see the guy on the bike trying to get away," he added.
The CCTV shows Marius leaning the bike against the wall beside the shop entrance, and then stepping back inside to lock the door.
After a few seconds two youths can be seen cycling past on the footpath, but stopping when they spy Marius’s green bike.
One guy gets off his bike and gives it to the second guy, who then cycles out of frame.
The thief then grabs Marius’s bike and is just about to pedal away when Marius appears back in frame, leaps on him, and thwarts his escape.
"I wasn’t thinking. There was no strategy, it was just instinct," said Marius.
"We ended up on the road and I got up and stepped away. The guy had an injury to his face and he hung around for a second, and that’s when I saw the other guy coming back," said Marius.
"It looked like they were going to have another go but they changed their minds and left. I just wanted to keep both of them in my line of sight just in case one of them would try and attack me," he added.
Marius said the guy he tackled appeared to be in his late teens.
"The bike is slightly damaged. The brake rotors and levers and the saddle are bent but it’s better than having the bike disappear," he said.
Marius said he thinks the attempt to take his bike was opportunistic rather than planned.
"I leave the shop at different times, and it was Bank holiday Monday too, so I think they were cycling by and just thought they would grab it.
"It would be a hard bike to sell because there are not that many of them around, but they might have just sold it on for a quick €100. Who knows?" he said.
His advice now is for everyone to keep their bike locked, even if they are away from it for seconds.
"You really can’t take your eye off them for a second," he said.
Gardai are examining the CCTV footage and are investigating the matter.