A Spider-Man style cat-burglar has left his victim dumbfounded after acrobatically scaling a 30-foot drop to steal a £2500 mountain bike resting on a second floor balcony.
The theft at the Craigentinny Road housing block left owner Deryck Kempton and police baffled because there was no sign of breaking and entering at the flat.
The only obvious route to get to the bike was vertically. Owner Mr Kempton, 47, had intended to race the Santa Cruz-model bike at an endurance event in the Highlands next week.
“It’s my pride and joy,” said the father-of-three. “I’m a bit gutted.
“[The thief] maybe put two and two together and thought this was a chance. But how did they get up?”
With no ladder marks on the exterior wall, all theories point to an athletic heist that may have seen the thief clamber on a window ledge and haul himself on to first-floor railings before summiting at the second-floor balcony.
Mr Kempton said: “If they climbed up two floors, without anybody hearing anything, I just can’t believe it. You can only get access to the balcony door from our sitting room.”
Neither his family nor neighbours heard anything suspicious on Tuesday morning – further fuelling to the mystery.
“It’s just bizarre,” said Mr Kempton. “You could see tyre tracks in the mud from the bottom of the block through the garden over to Craigentinny school. I don’t think we’ll see the bike again.”
One neighbour reported seeing a group of youths taking pictures of the bike while it was tied to the roof of his van outside the flats on Sunday.
Mr Kempton, a member of Portovelo cycling club, said his wife Gillian and daughters Megan, 17, and Lisa, 18, had been left shaken by the theft.
Although the interior of his flat remained untouched, Mr Kempton is reinforcing his home security “for peace of mind”.
He added: “It just shows you that you don’t take anything for granted. We have been there 20 years and we have never had any problem.
“It’s different now – there’s a weird paranoia. It’s quite scary someone has come up at night when everyone has been in their beds.”
It has emerged that Mr Kempton’s insurance company has refused to pay out on the theft because the bike had been unsecured when it was stolen.
Appeals have been made for anyone who may have seen the red-coloured bike with distinctive white cabling and a “retro” finish to contact police.
Police Scotland confirmed officers were investigating the incident, which is believed to have happened between 1.45am and 7.30am on Tuesday.
A spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing and we would encourage anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the area of Craigentinny Road in the early hours of Tuesday to contact police on 101.”