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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 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.

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