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Apparent Toronto bike theft caught on camera as bystanders watch in awe

TORONTO – You know things are bad for cyclists in Toronto when thieves appear to attempt to steal your ride in broad daylight while witnesses stand and watch in amazement.

That’s exactly the scenario that played out on Wednesday when an alleged thief was caught on camera appearing to use a hacksaw to break a lock attached to a grey mountain bike.

The alleged theft took place on the Toronto Railpath near a GO train station at Bloor St. and Perth Ave. in the city’s Junction neighbourhood.

Video of the incident posted on YouTube shows the alleged thief quietly going about his business as several cyclists and bystanders stand around in shock.

Jeff Higgins, the man who recorded the incident, has since received angry comments from the public after the video was posted on social media.

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“Sorry for not being the bike hero that Toronto deserves, everyone. Next time I see a bike being stolen I’ll be sure to expose myself to personal injury and untold legal problems,” Higgins said on his Facebook page.

READ MORE: $19,000 bicycle stolen in midtown Toronto

However, Higgins commented that he did notify police of the incident and also forwarded the video to them.

“I’m not a hero, but I seem to be the only person who did anything. I was watching him and yelling at him for a few minutes before recording, and a dozen+ people passed,” he wrote on Facebook.

Toronto police tell Global News they are not aware of the incident as no complaint has come forward.

READ MORE: New to cycling? Tips for navigating Toronto’s crowded streets

Thousands of bikes are reported stolen in Toronto each year.  In 2012, the latest year for which statistics are available, 3,456 bikes were stolen. That was a jump from 3,139 in 2011. Since 2005 the number has risen and fallen with a spike of 4,529 bikes reported stolen in 2007.

Police insist that registering a bicycle with the Toronto Police Service will help a victim of theft retrieve their bike and that using a high quality lock can be a deterrent as well.

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