When a brave London rail worker saw a bike theft in progress at his station, he knew he couldn’t stand by and let it happen.
Abdul El-Gayar was clocking-off from his shift at Cannon Street station in Central London when he noticed a man using bolt cutters on a bicycle outside the entrance.
“I heard the sound of a lock being snapped and I didn’t think twice. I said ‘You’re not taking that’. I couldn’t let that happen,” El-Gayar, 31, told PA News.
“Voices were raised a little—I said ‘It’s not your bike’. The guy eventually gave up and walked off. I put the bike into safe storage because the lock had been broken.”
Even though El-Gayar’s workday had ended, he then chose to wait until the bicycle’s owner came back—and it took four hours.
“I have a bike and cycle to work; I know what value they have to people.”
When Steve Farmer arrived outside the station that evening, he’d already had a stressful day. Normally he’d lock his bike up at the office, but that morning he’d forgotten his security pass. Typically he’d always have his trusty U-lock with him, but he only had his son’s bike lock this time. So he’d left his bicycle outside the station and hoped for the best.
When he arrived at 6 pm and saw the cut lock on the ground where his bike had been, he thought the worst.
“I was gutted,” the 39-year-old told the Evening Standard. “I was annoyed that I had used a bad lock to lock it up with. I was resigned to the fact I would never see it again, but trudged back up to the station, thinking there was no point really in asking for the security cameras but wanted to try anyway.”
At the train platform he saw El-Gayar, who had “a smile I will never forget,” recalled Farmer, who entered the code into the cut bike lock to show he was the owner.
Later on, Farmer shared a Facebook post detailing the day’s events and the generosity of El-Gayar — who he described as “a legend of a man” and “a credit to his employer.”
That post, which went up on June 29, has since been shared 134,000 times.
One commenter captured public sentiment towards El-Gayar’s kind actions perfectly: “People like Abdul make the world a better place.”