A man has been arrested in Japan in connection with the theft and sale via an auction website of a Japanese bike magazine editor’s bikes.
But in a twist on the usual bike thief modus operandi, the thief was advertising the bikes on an auction site - complete with photographs - and then stealing them to sell them to the winning bidder.
On Tuesday, police arrested 39-year-old comedian Nobushige Kaneshima on suspicion of the sales and thefts.
He is alleged to have taken photos of nine high-end bikes, which were stored in the parking area of local bike magazine editor Hiroshi Tamura’s house, and then advertised them.
When the auctions finished, he is accused of stealing the bikes on June 17. At around midnight on that date Tamura’s wife called the police after noticing a suspicious figure outside the house.
Police found three bikes had been stolen, and when Tamura checked the parking area at 7am the next morning, he found another six were missing.
The stolen bikes are valued at around 2.2 million yen in total (around £15,000) and include a Japanese-made touring bike worth 700,000 yen (around £4,500) and a US-made bike worth about 300,000 yen (£2,000).
Keneshima’s user ID at the auction site led police to him, but he has denied the allegations and told investigators he does not know why he was arrested.
Tamura is believed to have been acquainted with Keneshima, a well-known ballroom performer who goes by the stage name Kaneshima Dancing.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.