A cyclist in Scotland has told of how he had to buy his stolen bike back after seeing it offered for sale on Gumtree after police ignored repeated appeals to help him retrieve it after it was spotted being advertised for sale online.
The theft victim, who wished to remain anonymous, ended up forking out £40 to buy his Carrera One bike – which he had bought for £325 just three weeks before it was stolen – back, reports the Edinburgh Evening News.
Thieves had cut through the lock securing the bike to the railings outside the owner’s flat on the Scottish capital’s Slateford Road on 11 April.
Three days later, a neighbour spotted it for sale on Gumtree and alerted the owner to the listing.
He called police straight away, and the following day after obtaining the address of the seller put in two more phone calls, worried that it might be sold on before officers reacted.
Having received no response, he went with a friend to the vendor’s address in Wester Hailes and handed over £40 to get his bike back.
Before visiting the address, he stopped at a local police station and told an officer what was happening and if they could help him, but was apparently told not to go to the house because “it’s not worth it.”
While he managed to buy his bike back, it no longer had its wheels, and he has been told by staff at a local Halfords branch that it will cost him more than £300 to get it re-equipped with them as well as the tyres and disc brakes.
A member of his family, quoted by Edinburgh Evening News, said: “It’s a total lack of police response. He led the police to the door of it and they did not seem interested.
“What is the point in all the money being spent on bike lanes and Spaces for People if you can not own a bike in the city without it being stolen in a matter of weeks?
“We obviously do not want the same thing happening to other people again.”
Chief Inspector Scott Richardson of Police Scotland told the newspaper: “We can only apologise if the complainers feel that our service on this occasion did not meet their expectations. With regard to the theft of the bike, our enquiries are ongoing.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.