How to beat a thief

Woman outsmarts thief, steals back stolen bicycle - after he pays for improvements on it.

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David Rosenberg,

Bicycle
Bicycle
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A British woman who lost her bicycle to a thief managed to recover her property – without the help of police.

When Jenni Morton-Humphreys, 30, discovered recently that her bike had been stolen, she concocted a plan for retrieving the bicycle with the help of social media and a bit of daring.

Refusing to accept the loss of her bike, Morton-Humphreys turned to Facebook, posting pictures of her lost bicycle with a request that friends search for advertisements of used bikes in the area.

Her online appeal spread, and eventually one social media user located a newly listed used bike up for sale which matched the images Morton-Humphreys had uploaded.

Morton-Humphreys turned to local police to assist her in a sting operation to get back her stolen bicycle and arrest the thief.

After police turned her down, however, and advised her not to carry out her plan, Morton-Humphreys decided to go it alone.

Responding to the thief’s advertisement for the bike and feigning interest in purchasing the bike, Morton-Humphreys set up a meeting with the thief.

At the meeting, Morton-Humphreys expressed interest in purchasing the bicycle, but requested a test-ride. The thief/seller agreed – only to watch Morton-Humphreys pedal away and never return.

“I pretended to be interested and asked silly questions about the bike,” Morton-Humphreys told the Bristol Post. “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’.”

After she recovered the bicycle, Morton-Humphreys discovered that the thief had made improvements on it, including fixing a broken front light.