A man has been charged with stealing a customised £8,500 e-bike from Spain and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas. 24-year-old Vlad Grigoruta is also accused of two counts of fraud relating to an attempt to change the bike’s security code and finger print readers.
Sky Sports reports that the custom Greyp G12S was produced for Fabregas as a surprise, but was stolen from an address in Belgravia, central London, on February 21.
In a blog post, Greyp Bikes' head of sales Dominik Vrbanac wrote: “We were contacted by a guy saying that he changed pin number on his Greyp and forgot it. His fingerprint ID conveniently stopped working so unlocking it with his fingertip wasn’t an option.
“This struck as a bit odd, but we followed the procedure and asked for the serial number. Once we got it we realised that the number he shared with us was, in fact, the serial number of Cesc’s Greyp.”
Vrbanac said at this point the firm started “snooping around” and established that Cesc hadn’t sold the bike or lent it to someone, it had been stolen.
He said the thief continued to correspond with him using the email address "fabregasc332 [at] gmail.com".
“Since I was the contact person to the apparent thief I decided we’re getting the Greyp back. We exchanged [a] dozen e-mails in which he pretended he was Cesc himself and I pretended I believed him until I finally convinced him to give me his address. It took me a month or so.”
Police arrested Grigoruta, but didn’t immediately find the Greyp. It was eventually tracked down a few weeks later.
“The most painful part for Greyp team was that the custom paint job we did was basically destroyed and overpainted,” wrote Vrbanac.
He said his team replaced broken parts and restored the bike and it is now back with Fabregas.
Grigoruta was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday but failed to show up. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.