A woman from Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire whose son’s BMX bike was stolen spotted it for sale online in a local Facebook group – and posed as a potential buyer to lure the thief to her house with it.
ITV News reports that the bike was stolen from Jemma Shaw’s 12-year-old son by two men after they had spent an hour chatting with him.
She subsequently saw the bike for sale on the Grimsby Swaps and Sales group on Facebook and offered the poster £100 for it.
When the man arrived at hour house, she filmed their encounter, and asked him how long he had owned the bike, to which he replied, “for ages.”
But the would-be vendor was more cagey when quizzed about how he had come by it.
When she told him that she knew it was her son’s bike which had been stolen the previous day, he said, “okay” and fled – leaving the bike behind.
"I really couldn't believe my eyes when this man turned up at my house wheeling my son's bicycle,” she said.
"I understand that what I did could have been dangerous, but I have a big dog in the house that keeps me safe, and I just wanted to show my son that you don't have to be scared of these people and that you can stand up to them without being violent.
"It is disgusting that these people would go up to a young child playing in the park with the sole intention of stealing their bicycle. It is beginning to get so horrible around here, it is full of plastic gangsters.
"I needed to show my son that you can be strong in these situations, but also peaceful, because violence is never the answer,” she continued.
"I hope that this thief has now learned his lesson, and won't go around picking on other young children.”
She discovered a bit of a bonus, too, saying that the thief “At least did one good thing and fixed the brakes for us before trying to sell me it."
Humberside Police said that rather than people taking matters into their own hands, "We always encourage anyone who has had any property stolen to call us in the first instance and report it.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.