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Teen turns detective to recover his stolen bike
HE thought he’d never see it again.
Marcus Cole had all but given up hope of seeing his prized limited edition BMX after it was stolen from outside a gym in Southampton .
But thanks to a chance encounter the 19-year-old has scored a victory against the city’s sneaky bike thieves after he turned detective and pursued his stolen bicycle across the city – giving a running commentary to police.
Now he has been reunited with his beloved £400 bike, which he nicknames “Frank”, and is dependent on to cycle to college.
The teenager, from Steuart Road, Bitterne , told how he spotted the distinctive blue patterned saddle from around 100ft away as he was cycling on a replacement bike near Northam Bridge, and frantically began pedalling to get a closer look.
He said: “I thought ‘that’s my bike’. I was trying not to get too excited but as I got closer I knew I was right.”
From then it was matter of calling the police and tailing the rider through the city streets, all the way to Shirley High Street where officers arrived to confront the rider.
He said: “My adrenaline was going and I was a bit worried. I was riding as inconspicuously as possible but I was confident the bike was mine.
“When the police spoke to him he told them he had bought the bike for a tenner, then they took him away for questioning.
“I was very close to tears by the end of it all but I was also relieved. I never thought I would see it again.”
Hampshire police said two 18-year-old men were arrested in connection with the theft from outside Pure Gym in Bitterne Road in July. One has since been released without further action while the other has been bailed pending further inquiries.
The Daily Echo has previously reported how bicycle theft was proving a major problem in Southampton.
In December last year police launched dedicated operations across the city as around 50 bikes were being stolen every week.
The thieves were targeting sheds, garages and outbuildings at homes across the city as well as
bikes left in shopping areas and railway stations.
Police said that determined bike snatchers were behind an average of seven thefts every day – going equipped with tools so they can help themselves to even locked-up bikes.