Would-be thief spends 17 minutes trying to steal a bike in Washington state in a scene that wouldn't be out of place in a slapstick comedy

Needless to say, I’ve never attempted to steal a bike but I reckon I could probably a better job than the chap in the video above.

The hapless thief spent a good few minutes trying to make off with a bike from outside Woodinville Bicycle in Washington State, which reportedly collects bikes for the Village Bicycle Project.

The bike, which was attached to the roof of the porch outside the shop, proved a step too far for the opportunistic chap who thought he could make a quick buck off the machine.

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Teasingly, there was some kind of ladder on the floor underneath the bikes, but on finding that it was a little heavy the thief disappears from shot and somehow comes back with a stool.

Unfortunately the extra height doesn’t help the guy and he even falls off the stool as he misguidedly attempts to balance it on the ladder thing.

Then, in a hulk-like moment the guy lifts the ladder and leans it against the wall at an incredibly precarious angle, climbs up and grabs the bike, only for the ladder to slip away under his feet.

None of this seems to put the guy off, though, as cars drive past on the road next to the store. Seventeen minutes pass without any joy until the police turn up at the scene and the guy scarpers.

It’s not clear if he was caught or not, but given his ineptitude at stealing a bike it’s unlikely that he’ll have made a great attempt at hiding.

The would-be thief was wearing a University of Washington jacket, but for the educational integrity of the college let’s hope he isn’t one of their students…