Cyclist tracked down bike thief and bought back his frame for £40 

The 29-year-old rider said he reported the theft to police but received no help 

(Image credit: Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A cyclist was forced to  single-handedly track down a bike thief, before buying back his frame for £40 after he says police offered no help.

The rider, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Scottish newspaper the Edinburgh Evening News that he was able to find his stolen bike for sale online, and then repeatedly made calls to police asking for assistance.

But after saying he received no response from police, the cyclist set off to buy back his frame from the thief, albeit stripped of most of the parts, for £40. 

The cyclist told the newspaper that his Carrera bike, which he had bought three weeks earlier for £325, was stolen on April 11 while locked to a railing outside floor flat in Edinburgh. 

A neighbour then spotted the bike for sale on Gumtree three days later. 

After finding the bike online, the rider then said he contacted police, but despite making three phone calls he received no response. 

Instead he obtained the thief’s address and went to the property to retrieve his bike.

On the way to the thief’s home, the cyclist stopped at a nearby police station and asked an officer if they could assist, but claims they were then told not to go near the house because “it’s not worth it.” 

The rider then visited the address and bought back the bike, without the wheels, for £40, without letting the thief know he was the bike’s owner. 

He then visited the branch of Halfords where he had initially bought the bike and was told it would cost over £300 for new wheels, tyres, brakes and repairs to replace what had been taken. 

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Chief Inspector Scott Richardson, local area commander, said: "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.” 

Police have now made contact with the victim. 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.