A 92-YEAR-OLD man who had his beloved bike stolen from outside the library said he was “over the moon” to be reunited with his wheels.
The Evening News told yesterday how popular community activist David Turner discovered his bike had been stolen on Tuesday afternoon after popping into Portobello library for a few minutes.
A well-known face around the Portobello area, Mr Turner is famed for cycling everywhere he goes – earning him the title of “Peace Peddler” due to his involvement with Amnesty International.
He is such a familiar sight cycling round the area that news of the theft spread like wildfire on social media, sparking an online campaign to find his stolen bicycle.
It was subsequently discovered in the nearby Figgate Park on Wednesday night by a dog walker.
Its red frame has been spray-painted black and its distinctive green panniers – which read “Scrap Trident” and “Scotland In Europe Yes” were nowhere to be seen.
But despite this, Mr Turner said he was “absolutely delighted” about being reunited with his bike.
He said: “It’s very much a treasured bike and I’m over the moon to have it back again in one piece.
“It’s been painted black – whether someone intended to try and sell it but thought it might be too risky given the amount of publicity about it, we will never know.
“I don’t care what colour it is, as long as I can still use it, I really don’t mind and I don’t intend to paint it red again.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who made it known in the community about what happened because without them I might never have got it back.”
Mr Turner has already been back out on his bike, which he uses almost daily to cycle to Musselburgh, Fort Kinnaird and to his allotment at Telferton.
The story of the stolen bike has touched the hearts of kind-hearted Portobello residents, who began to raise money straight away to buy Mr Turner a replacement bike.
A friend of Mr Turner wrote on a community social media page: “It’s in a bad condition and has been spray painted black, but whoever did it probably got wind that they’d be found out through social media and dumped it.
“So hello whoever you are, if you are reading this then make this your last bike theft.
“It’s a really nasty ting to do, especially to someone in their 90s.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police are investigating after the theft of a bike from Rosefield Avenue near Portobello Library.
The incident happened some time between 2.40pm and 3.05pm on Tuesday.
“Inquiries into this matter are ongoing and anyone who has noticed any suspicious behaviour is asked to contact police on 101.”