A Glasgow woman has spoken of how she gave a bike thief ‘a life lecture’ after tracking down her son’s stolen bike on Gumtree.
Vonnie Sandlan’s son Findlay's bike was taken from outside McDonald's on Argyle Street at about 9.30pm on Saturday, only a few days after he had bought it.
"He's been less upset when pets have died," she told the BBC. "He used his birthday money for it. He'd been saving up for ages. It's a big deal."
Sandlan reported the theft to Police Scotland but was told they could not deal with it as they had other priorities, but following a social media campaign, she received a tip-off that it was being advertised for sale on Gumtree.
Sandlan and her husband Bob met the seller, a teenage boy, outside The Forge shopping centre, while a friend filmed the meeting from a bus stop across the road.
In a Facebook Live post, she explained: "The kid came over and he stopped in front of the bike and I was giving it big smiles and went over and put my hand on the bike and I said 'Thanks so much for coming out to meet us on such a miserable day as well. We would have came to your house'.
"And I looked underneath the frame and I checked the serial number. Then I just said 'This is my bike' – and the kid just burst into tears."
She went on to say that “somehow I ended up like pure giving him a life lecture on how this is a turning point in his life and it could have been so much worse if it had been somebody else who had came and just like battered him to get the bike back off him.”
She told the boy to think about college or an apprenticeship if school wasn't working out for him.
"Part of me really hopes that the kid gets in trouble and it properly scares him and that's enough. Part of me hopes that he just genuinely takes it as an opportunity to make some better life choices."
Bizarrely, the meeting ended with Sandlan hugging the boy and her husband offering him a lift home.
A police spokesman said: "Always use 101 in circumstances like this. Let us know what's happening and let us deal with the confrontation side of things."
A Gumtree spokesperson said: "We encourage users to report anything suspicious to us through the 'report' button that sits on every ad on our website.
"Our dedicated safety team will then investigate. If you are concerned that an item you're viewing is stolen, don't buy it – report it to the police. We work regularly with law enforcement to share information and aid their investigations.
"We're pleased to hear that Vonnie and her son Findlay have been reunited with their bike, and recommend that all bike owners register their serial number with a service such as Bike Register."