A RAILWAY worker has been hailed as a ‘legend’ after he stepped in to stop a commuter’s bicycle being stolen — and then spent his afternoon off waiting for the owner to return.
Showing the best of community spirit as people start returning to work from lockdown, Abdul El-Gayar, 31, intervened when a thief with a bolt cutter attempted to remove the chained-up bike from outside London’s Cannon Street station.
The would-be crook made off when confronted on Monday lunchtime but left the bike with a broken combination lock. At the time, Mr El-Gayar was on his way home after a day’s work at the station — but he decided to wait around until rush-hour in the hope the owner might come back.
Sure enough, later that day cyclist Steve Farmer returned to find the damaged lock but no sign of his bike. Writing on Facebook, he said: ‘[I was] resigned to never seeing it again… [then] a guy appeared waving at me [and] asked me to put the code into my cut lock. He replied “I have your bike” with a smile I will never forget!!
‘The world needs more Abduls, he is a legend of a man and a credit to his employer.’
Mr El-Gayar, who has worked for train firm Southeastern for four years, said he ‘couldn’t let this happen’ when he spotted the thief breaking the lock. ‘The guy eventually gave up and walked off.’ He added: ‘I thought I could do a bit more, and at 6pm the owner came through the station.’
Southeastern said: ‘We’re enormously proud of Abdul.’ Rail staff are hoping to catch the culprit via CCTV.