Bike theft victim pulls off audacious sting to get property back
A stolen bicycle was reunited with its owner after she reportedly executed a sting operation to seize it back from a man selling it online.
Jenni Morton-Humphreys was said to have hatched the plot when her blue bike was spotted for sale on Facebook hours after being taken.
The 30-year-old had appealed for help on the Bristol Cycling social media page when it was stolen from the city centre on July 9, the Bristol Post reported.
Another keen-eyed user saw the expensive bicycle being flogged and offered to liaise with the man selling it, on her behalf.
Last Monday a meet-up was arranged, with Ms Morton-Humphreys going along as an apparently interested buyer.
She told the Bristol Post that the police advised her against the plan and said they could not accompany her.
But, eager not to miss her chance, she met the man anyway.
"I pretended to be interested and asked silly questions about the bike," she told the newspaper.
"I said the saddle was too high, and asked if I could get on it to test it out.
"I made sure I had nothing on me, no possessions at all apart from the stuff in my hands - and they were a cigarette packet and a set of keys. I handed them to this guy as I got on the bike and said 'here, hold my stuff'.
"That meant he let go of the bike for the first time. I wobbled off a bit on the bike and then when I was a couple of yards away I just went for it.
"I pedalled as fast as I could."
The man was left holding only an empty packet of cigarettes and the keys - which was from the lock that had been cut from Ms Morton-Humphreys's bike.
Angry, the seller confronted her co-conspirator, with whom he had been dealing online.
"She's probably took it straight home," the man replied, according to the newspaper.
"Not surprised though, because it is her bike that was stolen yesterday."