A Toronto man whose bike was stolen late last month stole it back — and taught the thief a lesson in the process.
The bike was reportedly stolen on Aug. 21 from outside the victim's apartment, a pal said. Three days later, another friend spotted it locked up on a city street.
That second friend, a bike mechanic named Gord, put a spare lock on the bike and removed the seat to deter the thief from picking it up. The next day, the owner and two friends removed the spare lock and cut away the thief's, leaving a cardboard cutout in its place.
A note on the cutout read:
Dear Bike Thief, You rascal! You took my bike earlier this week but forgot to tell me where you'd leave it! It took a stroke of great luck that my friend, who's also my bike mechanic, happened to spot it right here! Isn't that crazy?
Anyway, I kinda need my bike so I'm taking it back. Please accept this substitute until you can afford your own.
P.S. The bike right here has the exact same, brand new U-lock you put on my bike. Did you steal that one too?
The story, relayed on a Reddit message board, received hundreds of comments, with many users applauding the pair for attempting to exact a little retribution. Others, though, wondered why they didn't go to the police.
"The bike is ... without a shadow of a doubt property of my [friend's]," he wrote. "I did him a [favor] and I already own these tools because I run a bike shop. The police in Toronto are usually busy and to be honest don't have the time or resources to deal with this stuff."
According to shop owner, bike thieves in Toronto are known to leave stolen bikes locked on the street until they are able to sell them so they aren't caught with the two-wheel contraband.
The cyclists' revenge story would seem to serve as a counterpoint to this one, reported by ABC News last fall, of a bike thief who apparently left a handwritten note apologizing for stealing the bike — and $10 for a new lock.
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- bike mechanic