Footage generates debate among commenters on Facebook about what they would have done in same situation

A video has been posted online of a thief in Bristol using bolt-croppers yesterday to cut through a lock and steal a bike.

But much of the discussion in the comments to it on Facebook has revolved around the action individuals would take if they found themselves in such a situation.

The footage, filmed on College Green on Bristol, was posted to Facebook by Jude Robson and was taking by a bystander who became suspicious when he saw the thief at work.

While a number of people commenting in the video say that they would have physically attacked the thief, the poster disagreed.

She wrote: “The thief told the guy filming that it was his own bike and he had forgotten the combo.

“I am really grateful that he filmed the guy – no one else did anything and he also hung around till we got back so the other bike didn't get stolen and emailed me the video.

“He also felt bad that he hadn't tried to physically stop the guy but I really don't blame him for that, I would have done the same.

“Anyway hopefully his video will mean the guy gets caught ... Thanks for sharing everyone.”

She added that the theft had been reported to the & Somerset Constabulary .

One commenter on Facebook wrote: “Instead off videoing it do something about it.”

Another wrote: “Dude stands and films him instead of trying to stop him.”

But someone else pointed out: “this bloke is always nicking bikes around town. He gets very aggressive if challenged.

“So the bloke filming was quite right not to stop him. Seen him on waterfront before. Nasty piece of work.”

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.