A woman who had her bike stolen by a group of thieves has beaten them at their own game.
Jenni Morton-Humphreys, 30, said that police weren’t interested so she set up her own sting to get her German racing bike back.
Within 24 hours she met a man on a street corner to ‘test drive’ the bike, but sped off.
It vanished from Bristol city centre when someone cut through the bike chain.
In a bid to track it down, Jenni posted a picture of the bike on the Bristol Cycling Group Facebook page and asked anyone who saw it to get in touch.
She was contacted by a fellow cyclist who was angered by what had happened to her, and found the bike listed for sale online.
The man contacted the seller saying his sister – Jenni – was interested in buying a bike and wanted to look at it.
They arranged a time for Jenni to meet a friend of the seller on a street corner of Stapleton Road, Easton, once known as the most dangerous street in Britain.
A friend accompanied her but walked ahead so the thief would not know they were together – and as soon as Jenni saw the bike she knew it was hers.
She said: ‘I pretended to be interested and asked silly questions about the bike. 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’.
That meant he let go of the bike for the first time. I wobbled off a bit on the bike and then when I was a couple of yards away I just went for it. I pedalled as fast as I could.’
Someone shouted ‘she’s not coming back’ and the shocked bike thief began texting Jenni’s co-conspirator, who had pretended to be her brother.
Jenni added: ‘I didn’t look back to see if they were chasing me. My main thought was that I was worried because I didn’t really know where I was, where I was going, or the area at all, and I was worried that I might have to go back that way or end up going round in a circle.
‘But it was fine because quite soon, I hit a big roundabout and was able to find a different way back to the city centre, so I wasn’t scared at that point.’
The furious seller told her ‘brother’: ‘I need 95 quid lively.’
Jenni’s new pal, who asked not to be named, replied: ‘She’s probably took it straight home. Not surprised though, because it is her bike that was stolen yesterday.
‘Lesson to be learned son. Don’t steal from the cycling community for a quick fix. You played yourself.’