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Video: Hapless would-be bike thief given slapstick treatment

If Vittorio De Sica had directed in the slapstick genre, the classic Bicycle Thieves may have turned out like this ...

A would-be bike thief in the US has been caught on CCTV trying – and failing – to make off with a donated bicycle stored outside a shop, resulting in a video very much in the slapstick genre.

His target was bikes donated to Woodinville Bicycle in Woodinville, Washington state, that are destined to be passed onto people in Africa.

In the description to a video posted to YouTube, the shop said: “Woodinville Bicycle collects donations for the Village Bicycle Project. We store the donated bikes in front of the shop under the canopy. This particular gentleman decided he should be a recipient. Gotcha!”

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In the video, which has been speeded up for extra comic effect and, naturally, is accompanied by the song Yakety Sax – better known as the Benny Hill Theme Tune – the man can be seen using a ladder and a stool to try and get hold of one of the bikes.

At one point, the ladder slides from beneath him, and he is left dangling in mid-air, holding onto the mudguard. As he prepares to have yet another try, the police arrive and he disappears – it’s not clear whether he was caught.


Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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