One of our London handymen was accosted over the weekend when pulled over on his scooter to check something. Four teenage thugs approached him and demanded he hand over his scooter, boasting that they had stolen 0800handyman scooters before, and were going to have his too.
The handyman in question, Gergely (aka Greg), is a big chap. He is originally from Hungary, and used to be a police officer there. He also traces his ancestry directly back to Attila the Hun (*). It seems that a simple intimidating stare (presumably a "my ancestors rode thousands of miles just to rape and pillage your Saxon forebears' villages, don't think about messing with me" type of stare) was enough to see off the pesky would-be scooter thieves.
Does it seem strange that a bunch of kids would have already stolen other 0800handyman scooters? Not really - this incident took place in Islington, where the Chief Constable uniquely encourages scooter theft by deliberately not pursuing scooter thieves (because "there are too many of them"). I tried a couple of years ago to persuade him to change this weak-willed, counter-productive policy (we have experienced about a dozen scooter thefts in Islington, and only one in another borough) but without success. I even persuaded the local MP (then Chris Smith) to write to the Chief Constable, who wrote back a patronising letter saying "yes, we have heard from Mr Greig on a number of occasions" [every time we had a bike stolen!] implying my bothering them about trivial matters like the repeated theft of thousands of pounds of our vital equipment was on a par with people that dial 999 when they see a UFO.
We now try and avoid sending scooters to Islington - the risk of theft is too high, so we generally send our Honda Deauville-riding handymen instead (more valuable, but harder to steal).
(*) I made up the bit about Greg being descended from Attila the Hun. But he is Hungarian, so might be. And I am not sure if the Huns made it as far as Saxony, but I think they did.