Woman nabs bike thief on North Bridge

Hugh McInnes and Joanne Thom recovered their stolen bike when they saw it being ridden by a man. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Hugh McInnes and Joanne Thom recovered their stolen bike when they saw it being ridden by a man. Picture: Ian Georgeson
0
Have your say

A COUPLE whose rare £3000 bike was stolen during a raid on their home six months ago gave chase and got it back after spotting someone cycling on it.

Fitness instructors Hugh McInnes and Joanne Thom were stuck in traffic when a rogue cyclist passed them on their distinctive stolen bike in a bus lane off North Bridge.

The photo taken by Joanne. Picture: contributed

The photo taken by Joanne. Picture: contributed

Shocked Hugh, 36, immediately recognised its front wheel hub as it flashed past, prompting him to shout, “Oi! That’s my bike!”

His plucky girlfriend immediately jumped out of the car and dashed after the man, catching up with him after he was forced to stop at lights.

The 31-year-old seized hold of the handlebars and refused to let go while calling police on her phone. She also managed to take this photo of the clean cut man, who claimed he bought the bike on Gumtree.

The mystery man soon surrendered the top-of-the-range cycle and ran off towards the High Street when he realised Joanne was not going to give up. Now her phone snap of the man, who was aged around 30, has been passed to police who want to speak to him in connection with their probe.

Hugh said: “We were heading up towards the High Street at around 5pm on Wednesday when a bike passed quickly by in the bus lane. Since my bike was stolen I’ve looked at every one I’ve seen in case it was mine. I only saw the front hub, but instantly I recognised it and shouted out, “That’s my bike!”

“Joanne jumped out the car and took off after him. I tried to find somewhere to park because I was obviously worried about what would happen.”

Joanne said: “I ran after him and caught up with him at the traffic lights. I knew straight away it was our bike. I grabbed the handlebars and told him I wasn’t letting go until the police came.

“He kept on saying that he bought it on Gumtree and if I let him go he would go and get the details. His face was white and he looked really guilty. He was trying to pull the bike away from me and I kept repeating, ‘That’s not your bike, that’s my bike’. I was on the phone to the police and I also took his 
picture.

“Then a passer-by came across and he said to the man, ‘Wait here for the police and they’ll sort it out’. That’s when the man got off the bike and ran away.”

She added: “I never really thought I was taking a risk by chasing him until afterwards. If he had started screaming and being aggressive I probably would have let go. But after I saw he was panicking I thought ‘I’m not letting go until the police arrive’.”

Hugh’s 36-gear bike was stolen while the couple were asleep in his Newhaven flat on April 17. He used the customised bike for triathlon races while Joanne used it for cycle cross competitions.

Hugh added: “It’s so rare that I knew it had to be mine. I’m amazed but so glad to have the bike back again, I’d given up hope. It was really brave of Joanne, she didn’t think twice and was straight out the door.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A bike believed to have been stolen on April 17 was recovered on North Bridge around 5pm on Wednesday. Inquiries are still ongoing.”

alan.mcewen@edinburghnews.com