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Seller tells owner to take bike for spin - so he does, straight to nearby police officer

An Edinburgh cyclist whose bike had been stolen met a man who had offered it for sale online and took it for a test ride – pedalling straight to a nearby police officer who arrested the would-be seller.

David Livey’s Specialized Allez was stolen from outside Leith Victoria Swim Centre last week, reports the Edinburgh Evening News.

The 27-year-old, who works at the Scottish Parliament as a researcher for the SNP, tweeted a picture after he had been reunited with his bike that has now had more than 1,400 retweets.

 

 

He told the Edinburgh Evening News: “It’s a happy ending. The police were fantastic. I just couldn’t believe it when he asked if I wanted a go on it – the guy was then caught red-handed.

“He asked me if I wanted to try it out, so I cycled down the street, stopped at the policeman and that was that.

“He went and arrested him – it was like being in a sitcom.”

He added: “I am just delighted there was an opportunity to get it back.”

Yesterday, we reported how a cyclist whose bike was stolen in Southampton got it back after spotting it for sale on eBay with his wife posing as a potential buyer and calling officers.

However, Police Scotland’s advice is for victims of theft to contact them rather than try to take matters into their own hands.

A spokesman said: “Police can confirm that a 26-year-old man has been charged with reset [handling stolen goods] following an incident on Holyrood Road on Wednesday.

“A report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal."

He added: “If anyone sees their items subsequently being sold online then our advice would be to contact Police Scotland.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

15 comments

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velobetty [71 posts] 2 years ago
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Great news! Though the police will often say to contact them instead of 'taking matters into your own hands' but if you do they say they're too busy. Glad it worked out for David!  1

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quiff [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Great to hear a happy ending for a change, but it sounds like a fortunate coincidence there was a policeman nearby. When my bike was nicked, the police actually found it on Gumtree shortly afterwards and contacted me, which really impressed me. Unfortunately I was then advised 'off the record' that investigating it would take some paperwork and time, and that if I wanted it back, my best bet was to arrange to meet the seller myself, then call the police to make an arrest. I contacted the seller, he got spooked, my bike got dismantled and the frame turned up and sold on ebay the next day.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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If you report it to the police, you will get a crime reference number, which is as much use as a chocolate fire-guard.

If you see your own bike on gumtree/ebay, get it back yourself, by any means. The police won't even look at at....

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willvousden [37 posts] 2 years ago
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Not necessarily true! The Avon & Somerset Constabulary are very hot on bike thefts and are quite good at pursuing them. Depends where you are, I think.

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scottharkins1971 [28 posts] 2 years ago
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A crime reference is essential if you want to make an insurance claim!

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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Woah. Hold on just one second. Those last couple of comments make it sound for a moment - and this can't possibly be the case - as though Gkam84 is spouting unfounded shite?
Come on lads, use the edit button and take any and all fact out of your responses.

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BarefootBrian [20 posts] 2 years ago
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I had my bike stolen in Bristol many years ago. It was taken to the shop I'd had it re-enamelled in previously, to sort out some repairs. They recognised it (I'd told them it had been stolen) & informed me, so I told the police. The police said they needed it as evidence and kept it for several months before decidig there was not enough evidence, even for handling stolen property. (The guy who took it in had bought it at a second-hand shop down the road). So I was without it for ages and had to buy another bike to get to work. But at least I did get it back.  1

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eclecticcyclist [13 posts] 2 years ago
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A bit naïve, locking the bike by just its front wheel. I always make sure my lock holds both frame and front wheel

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Beatnik69 [320 posts] 2 years ago
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eclecticcyclist wrote:

A bit naïve, locking the bike by just its front wheel. I always make sure my lock holds both frame and front wheel

I think that photo is just there as an illustration. It's not the actual wheel.  39

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Grubbythumb [61 posts] 2 years ago
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I think the most amazing thing about this story, is that the cyclist actually found a Policeman.

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kennethsross [15 posts] 2 years ago
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Know of another case recently in Scotland where police dealt efficiently with similar scenario and seller was charged.

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purplemadwoman [31 posts] 1 year ago
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Same story as many others: I saw my bike on Gumtree less than a week after it was stolen, so told the police, but by the time they got their fingers out it had gone.  7 Then I saw it on eBay. Naively, I did the same - told the police, but the same happened again!  102 Will not be making the same mistake again.  7

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runskiprun [69 posts] 1 year ago
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dont go to the police when you find the pikey who has lifted your property. The police are inept, we caught a gang bang to rights who had been blocking central locking on cars, we had to detain them until the cops got there, then the only bit of justice was one pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods!
catch them and break a piece of them, its rough justice that seems to be the only deterrent.

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RuiFig [4 posts] 1 year ago
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"However, Police Scotland’s advice is for victims of theft to contact them rather than try to take matters into their own hands."
What a joke!

This last week my Road bike was also stolen.
I quickly found the bike on gumtree, a couple of streets away.
Reported to the police.
Got footage of the guy coming in with the cutter, and leaving with the bike.
Got his phone number, location, and a quick facebook search for the phone number gives me his profile.
I exchange a couple of messages with the guy, pretending to be a buyer. The policed asks me not do anything.

Result... after over 1 day, the ad was gone (he sold it).
A few hours later he puts another Ad online for another expensive bike.
Venting I go the police station to complain. Nothing done. They didn't even took note of the new Ad I found. The owner would certainly be reporting it stolen.
New Ad stayed on for 2-3 days, and eventually disappeared too.

Today they finally carried out a search warrant. Nothing was found! Really? I'm so surprised.

Some quick googling shows he's targeting expensive bikes, and he's been making a couple thousands of pounds recently.

Now I'm need to pay 350£ for the insurance excess, plus fixing the shed, etc.

Never seen so much police incompetence. Was just waiting for them to tell me the case was "closed", so now I can file a complaint. Good times.

Way to go David. Should have ignored the police and met the guy.  1

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RuiFig [4 posts] 1 year ago
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Yep!
I wouldn't be surprised if I see my bike around eventually, if whoever bought is from around here.  1
Lesson learnt. Next time I'll try something on my own or with some friends before contacting the police.
Ohh... and you shouldn't be protecting your shed with razor wire or glass, as you might be held responsible for injuries, according to an Edinburgh Police's facebook post.  24
I do love Scotland, as it's been my home for a while, but some things just make me pull out my hair.  102