Carla Galinsky locked her Bergamont bike under the saddle to a railing in the Platinum Point basement garage in Newhaven at about 5.20pm on March 30 – but when she returned 45 minutes later to recycle some old newspapers, it had gone.
Mrs Galinsky had been using the bike to travel to care for the woman on a one-to-one basis, four times a day. She will now be forced to halve her hours with the woman as walking to and from the housing complex, by Western Harbour Breakwater, from her home in Bonnington Grove would take up too much time.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, the 63-year-old said the woman was initially upset by the fact she would be seeing less of her from now on, adding: “I do need another bike at some point but I was not ready for this – I just got such a shock. I hadn’t even finished my shift and just came down to do some recycling.
“I have always been so careful and never leave it out in the open. It was in a secure basement which you need a fob for and I had locked it to the railing.”
Mrs Galinsky, who is originally from Holland but has lived in Edinburgh for about 40 years, said the incident was captured on CCTV and police will be looking at this as part of their enquiries.
She said a janitor at the site told her a young man could be seen in the footage walking round the building, and it is thought he has waited for an opportunity to get inside the garage when someone else has left in order to access the bike.
Mrs Galinsky said the u-lock she used was still intact as the thief had seemingly maneuvered the saddle to release the bike, which she said would likely sell brand new for more than £2,000. She said because the railing was not suited to her low bike frame, she could only lock it underneath the saddle.
The bicycle is described as grey and black coloured with a basket on the back. It has the frame number CA18052811 and police registration number QR00157025.
Mrs Galinsky said she does not have a car and used the bike for everything, from getting to work to shopping. She had bought it about one and a half years ago.
Two weeks ago, police also warned that bike thefts across Scotland have risen by nearly a fifth during the lockdown period, with organised crime groups now targeting more expensive models.
Their national campaign, Pedal Protect, aims to tackle bike crime and raise awareness of bike security. This is also being supported by British Transport Police at train stations where many bicycles are stored.
Cyclists are being encouraged to register their bike through the National Cycle Database so that if it is lost or stolen, it can easily be returned.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of the theft of a bicycle from a car park at Western Harbour Breakwater in the Newhaven area of Edinburgh between 5.20pm and 6.10pm on Tuesday, March 30.
“Inquiries into the theft are ongoing.”