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Man stops to help stranger fix bike – and realises it’s his own which had been stolen

Bike owner was on way home from nightshift when he encountered thief who had stolen it from his shed

A Glasgow man who stopped to help a stranger fix a bike quickly got a shock when he realised it was his own one.

John Devlin, aged 64, was on his way home from a night shift when he encountered Paul Hartey, who shortly beforehand had broken into his shed and stolen the bike, reports Glasgow Live.

As Mr Devlin, who lives in Drumchapel, helped repair the bike’s handlebars, he realised it was his own due to stickers on it, as well as having his helmet attached to it.

He said to Hartey, “That’s mine!” before chasing the thief down the street.

Appearing at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Hartey, aged 46, admitted stealing the bike on 18 June this year through forcing Mr Devlin’s shed open.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of a knife without reasonable excuse or lawful authority.

Mr Devlin’s wife, Linda, had spotted that the shed door was broken, with possessions strewn around, when she woke up at 6.30am. Her husband headed home from work 10 minutes later.

Shona Howie, prosecuting, said: “He saw Hartey on the street looking like he is trying to fix a bike on his hands and knees.

“Mr Devlin stopped and said, ‘Do you need a hand? I will help you fix it’.

“As he tried to fix it, Mr Devlin recognised stickers and helmet attached to the bike.

“He recognised it to be his bike and said ‘That’s my bike’.”

Hartey drew a knife on Mr Devlin and made off, with Mr Devlin following him.

He was subsequently arrested after a call was put in to 999.

Defending Hartey, Keith Tuck said his client could not remember the incident and had been under the influence of drugs at the time.

Hartey was jailed by Sheriff Johanna Johnston QC for 15 months.

Simon joined 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.

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