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A railway worker in London has been hailed a 'legend' after bravely confronting a thief attempting to get their mitts on someone's bike - and then waiting four hours after his shift to ensure it was returned to its owner safely.
Abdul El-Gayar, 31, was leaving work when he clocked a man trying to cut someone's bike lock with bolt cutters outside Cannon Street Station.
Instead of walking on by, South Eastern Railways worker Abdul strode right up to the person and confronted him.
Speaking to the Press Association, he recalled: "I heard the sound of a lock being snapped and I didn't think twice. I said, 'You're not taking that back.' I couldn't let that happen.
"Voices were raised a little - I said, 'It's not your bike.'
"I have a bike and cycle to work - I know what value they have to people.
"The guy eventually gave up and walked off. I put the bike into safe storage because the lock had been broken."
The bike belonged to 39-year-old Steve Farmer, who works near the station.
Steve, from Guildford in Surrey, returned four hours later and soon realised his bike wasn't there, much to his horror.
He said: "I was gutted. 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."
But on his way to ask about security footage, Steve was met by Abdul, who had been waiting patiently for him.
Abdul, who asked Steve to enter his code into the lock before returning the bike with its rightful owner, said: "City people finish work at about 5.30/6pm - it came to 6pm and I was wondering where the owner might be when a young man came through the station.
"He said he couldn't thank me enough. I was only too happy to help - I couldn't let a bike theft happen right in front of my eyes."
Steve - who later posted a picture of Abdul on Facebook - explained how he'd normally lock his bike up at work, but it had been the first day back in the office after lockdown and had forgotten his security pass.
"It was so dead in the morning around Cannon Street, and I had my son's lock, used for locking it up at the park, in my bag, so thought I would use that, get a security pass and come back. By the day just cracked on," he said.
"It was the one day I didn't use a D-lock.
"I can't thank Abdul enough, he is such a top man.
"The world needs more Abduls, he is a legend of a man and a credit to his employer."
The incident has been reported to the City of London Police.
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