‘It’s like losing your left arm,’ says war veteran after his electric bike is stolen

E-bike goes missing outside Salvation Army

Monday, 20th June — By Harry Taylor

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Captain John Cameron  Nixon and his missing bike

A 92-YEAR-OLD war veteran has had his brand-new electric bike stolen from outside the Salvation Army in Chalk Farm.

Captain John Cameron Nixon, who served in various military roles in Korea, Burma, Europe and the Middle East, including as a commando, had parked his three-week-old white Dokma electric minibike outside the centre in Chalk Farm Road.

He had been visiting the Salvation Army to have lunch, and was leaving, unlocking his bike before nipping back in to use the toilet.

But while he was using the facilities, a man came along, took his helmet off the bike and after skulking around outside to see if he was going to be interrupted, made off with the bike worth £600.

Mr Nixon, who has lived in Inkerman Road for more than 40 years, regularly uses the Salvation Army centre, along with Castle­haven, Queen’s Crescent Com­mun­ity Associ­ation and St Pancras.

He said: “It was a complete shock. The bike’s been very important to me, it’s been like losing my left arm.

“It’s good to keep me mobile and in getting me around, but also my exercise.

“It’s also good for my mental health too, I get around to the different centres.

“I’ve got hospital appointments now and I’ve got dental problems, and I’m having to get taxis everywhere – to all the different centres and to appointments.”

Police would like to speak to a man pictured in CCTV clips to see if he can help the investigation

Mr Nixon said as well as the original outlay for the bike he had bought modifications and add-ons worth £200-£300.

He now has to hope that the police track down the bike. Officers confirmed they are reviewing CCTV footage and it is understood they would like to speak to a man in a green North Face jumper seen close to the bike before it disappeared.

An image has been widely circulated online as Captain John’s friends try to trace the bike.

He said: “I’ve still got hope but otherwise I’ll have to replace it. It’s a deprivation, it’s caused stress because of this, it’s worse than it just being frustrating.

“I’d warn anyone who has a bike to keep it locked or keep their eyes on it.”

A Met Police spokes­man said: “Officers are carrying out enquiries, including a review of CCTV from the area.
“The investigation is ongoing.”

Ex-commander fought off muggers

IF Captain John Cameron Nixon looks familiar, you may remember him from his extraordinary heroics four years ago when he saved a woman from five bag thieves in Kentish Town.

Back in February 2018, he intervened when he heard the woman screaming for help and saw five young men trying to rob her.

His hands were slashed with a knife as he fought them off, explaining afterwards that his old training and instincts had kicked in.
“I disabled one but another one pulled out a knife so I had to try and deal with him too,” he said.

More recently, a mugger pulled a knife on him in Camden Town only for his dog Lucky to jump up and push the man to the ground.

“The hilarious part was that the police came over and said they were going to arrest me for having a dangerous dog,” he joked afterwards.

Captain John is also known for his history talks given at some of Camden’s community centres, organised by North London Cares.

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