The excellent adventures Tiffany Stache
A most excellently heart warming tale about a guy who managed to get his stolen mountain bike returned even though it was over 13,000 miles away.
In a story reported by CBC News in Canada, a guy called Warren Hull had his mountain bike stolen in March and after a bit of detective work had it returned to him from the Philippines in September. Mr Hull’s bike had been for a 27,000 mile round trip.
Mr Hull is an experienced mountain biker who bought a Trek Stache 29+ hardtail a couple of years ago as a winter bike for thrashing round the trails around Toronto. After one such ride in March this year he came back and stowed the bike as usual in a storage locker in his apartment complex. When he went down to the locker a week later he found that the bike – and only the bike – had been nicked.
He contacted the building’s security and they eventually trawled up some CCTV footage of the incident, showing two thieves at work. It was this explicit CCTV footage that sparked off something in Mr Hull: “You think it’s gone, then seeing someone actually walking out with your bike, it irked me more.”
He started his detective work.
The bike was stolen but they left behind its front quick release, which is a relatively bespoke type. Mr Hull contacted Trek via the local Trek dealer and they came back with a name.
Hull explains: “this person had ordered it in the span of a day of me realizing it was gone. It was just too coincidental, so through social media, through Facebook, Instagram, I searched and searched and searched. I found a gentleman matching that name and his profile picture was of him on a mountain bike so I put two and two together and I guess he was my main suspect.”
Hull didn’t do anything immediately. Then the suspect changed his profile pic to a bike with mismatched brakes on it (not the Trek Stache by the way) and Hull thought “Those are my brakes”.
Yet still Mr Hull didn’t action anything. He didn’t feel confident enough. He was waiting to see his bike appear.
It was a late night inspection of the suspect’s Facebook feed that he finally saw his bike (which he nicknamed Tiffany, by the way). The bike was in the Philippines. It had been sent to the suspect’s sister-in-law.
Finally Mr Hull posted the full story on Facebook and the power of social media did the rest. The suspect contacted Stolen Bikes Toronto Facebook page and said that he’d be returning Tiffany to Mr Hull.
The suspect had not stolen the bike. He had bought the stolen bike.
Mr Hull states: “The first question the cop asked, do I want to charge him? No I don’t want to charge the guy, I got my bike back. He learnt his lesson, why am I going to charge him? He didn’t take it. Maybe he knew it was stolen, maybe he didn’t, I don’t know.”
Mr Hull now keeps Tiffany in his apartment.