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.”
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.