Column: That's a wheelie, wheelie smart move
A cyclist who had her prized bike stolen got her own back on thieves after setting up a sting to steal it back. Jenni Morton-Humphreys beat the thieves at their own game after her expensive German racing bike was stolen from Bristol. Instead of getting angry, she decided to get even and put a plan in place after she discovered a man selling it on Facebook. Setting up a meeting, Jenni, 30, went along to view it as a prospective buyer. In a bid to cover herself, she alerted police to her plan but they refused to get involved, saying her plan was risky. Fearing someone else would buy her bike, Jenni took a friend along in case things turned nasty. She’d tracked down the Cube bicycle after posting a photograph of it on the Bristol Cycling Group Facebook page. Luckily, a group member had remembered seeing it for sale and stepped in to help. He contacted the ‘seller’, saying his sister was interested in buying it. His ‘sister’ was Jenni. They arranged a meeting with the seller’s friend on a street corner to view the bike. Jenni had asked a friend to accompany her but to walk ahead so the man didn’t know they were together. As soon as she set eyes on the bike she knew it was hers. Pretending to be interested in the bicycle, she remarked that the saddle was ‘a bit high’ and asked to test it out. Jenni had already left her possessions at home apart from a few things in her hands, namely a packet of cigarettes and a set of old keys. Handing them over to the man, she asked if he could hold them which meant he had to let go of the bike. Seizing the moment, she began to pedal as fast as she could and fled the scene. As she did, someone shouted out ‘she’s not coming back.’ Hilarious! The stunned bike thief was furious and began texting her fellow cyclist, the one who had pretended to be her ‘brother’, telling him: ‘I need 95 quid lively.’
Instead of coughing up the cash, her friend texted back: ‘She’s probably taken it straight home. Not surprised though, because it is her bike that was stolen yesterday. Lesson to be learned, son.’ Touché. But the best bit happened once Jenni had got her bike home, all within 24 hours of it being stolen. You see, the ‘thieves’ had spruced it up ready for the impending sale. They’d even fixed her broken front light. Talk about karma. Mind you, knowing today’s kangaroo courts, she’ll probably get charged with handling her own stolen goods.