A thief who stole a one-off £9,000 mountain bike was forced to hand it over after the owner’s friend spotted him with it in the street.
Former pro racer and cycling coach Rab Wardell was preparing to go to a BMX track with friend John Bailey when he recognised the professional machine.
He saw his pal’s distinctive red Santa Cruz 5010 being ridden on the pavement in Glasgow – which had been stolen during a break-in at his friend’s home a week earlier.
A determined Rab grabbed the thief, in his 40s and wearing a blue insulated “puffa” style jacket and black helmet, and forced him to hand over the wheels.
The thief turned on his pursuer and threatened to hit him with a motorbike security chain before he ran off, the Daily Record reports.
Rab is now appealing for anyone who recognises the thief to turn him in so he can be brought to justice.
He said: “The bike is totally distinctive, a rare Santa Cruz machine and there are very few of them around.
“This one had special Magura yellow brakes fitted, which made the bike a one-off, so I was pretty sure it was the right bike.
“The guy was riding on the pavement, which doesn’t make him look like the kind of guy who’d be riding a Santa Cruz bike.
“But he did have the right gear and he was covering the brakes the way an experienced rider might, so he may be known to go around on bikes – probably stolen ones.
“It turned out that the guy was wearing the same jacket and helmet that he was wearing when he broke into my friend’s flat the previous Tuesday night.”
The thief had previously been caught on CCTV cycling away laden with bags – presumed to be filled with booty from the burglary.
Rab’s friend had a snowboarding jacket and two watches, with sentimental value, stolen.
When Rab challenged the thief he initially tried to deny the theft, saying he’d got the bike from someone nearby earlier.
But after Rab grabbed the handlebars he took off his helmet and did a runner.
Rab said: “I had a look at him and thought ‘well, I’ll be catching him’ but I wasn’t sure what I would do if I caught him.
“When the guy realised he couldn’t get away he decided to change his tactics and he took a motorbike chain from round his neck and started coming towards me.
“I kept the distance between us the same and decided that we had the bike and I didn’t really want to fight him, so he got away.
“I’m going to hand over the helmet to police and we are pretty hopeful there will be DNA and fingerprints that will nail him.
“The CCTV images from the burglary are pretty damning on their own but when you couple in the fact he was wearing the same clothes I’d say the case is pretty strong if we can figure out who the guy is.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “About half-past-one on Tuesday the 7th of May, a flat in Pollokshields was broken into and a number of items including a high value bike were stolen.
“The bike was recovered in the Woodside area of Glasgow on Monday the 13th.”
“Enquiries are continuing.”
Police appealed for anyone with information to contact the Community Investigation Team at Govan, or call 101.