Saga of stolen bike being recovered is played out 'live' on internet
photo This picture was posted on the LFGSS forum while the stolen bike was being recovered by the owner
The story of a London cyclist being reunited with her stolen bike was played out in real time on an internet forum, with photos and posts updating watchers as events took place.
The distinctive custom-built Flandria-framed bike was spotted by a friend who recognised the non-matching wheels and distinctive headset, even though the frame had been resprayed from red to blue.
The bike was seen locked to a lamp post outside Strada in Commercial Street on 13 November, having been stolen from outside the RichMix arts centre in Bethnal Green Road on 8 September 2009.
"This is my bike. Call me to discuss"
The owner, Tillier Anne-Sophie immobilised the bike using her own locks, and left a note on a piece of cardboard in the spokes saying, “This is my bike. Call me to discuss.”
Photos of the bike attached to the lamppost by several locks were posted within 30 minutes on the LFGSS forum (see above), with many watchers speculating what as to what would happen when the person returned.
The story of the theft had been posted on the forum the day after the theft in the hope that someone would spot the bike.
Owners had earlier tried to recover bike
The bike's owner and her boyfriend had previously watched Gumtree and eBay online auctions for several weeks after the theft, and visited Brick Lane market five weekends in a row to try in an attempt to recover the bikes, which were mainly of sentimental value.
After leaving the note on the stolen bike, Ms Anne-Sophie received a phone call from a woman who had bought the bike from Gumtree, apparently without knowing it was stolen.
The bike was returned amicably to its original owner after she produced photos of the bike in her possession, though the police declined to get involved.
"She admitted the bike was mine," said Ms Anne-Sophie. "She paid £130 for it on Gumtree, and she was really upset to find out that it was stolen."