As we explained in 'Underworld Economics: Why are so many bikes stolen?', bike theft is usually a low-return but low-risk activity (sadly). But once in a while, a thief will bite more they can chew and karma catches up with them. This recently happened in London where Ben Jaconelli's high-end GoCycle electric bike worth £2,500 (about $4,200 at today's exchange rate) was stolen despite the fact that it was securely locked and was left unattended for only 20 minutes.
Usually the story would end there, but Mr. Jaconelli is the owner of FullyCharged.com and the authorized GoCycle dealer for East London.
You see where this is going, right?
Not too long after his electric bike was stolen, Jaconelli got a call from someone asking for a charger for a GoCycle. He found out as many details about the thief as possible and tracked him down.
When he arrived where he lives with 3 of his friends (you never know), the thief was out but his mother was there; she called him and asked him why he needed an electric bike charger?
"A minute later he called me," said Jaconelli. "He asked why I was at his house and I said 'you stole my bike'".
"He hung up and 20 minutes later the bike arrived at the warehouse in a taxi."
The details of the case have been sent to the police who are investigating this theft and possible links to other missing bikes in the east London area. I wish all stolen bike stories ended this well!
Here's a GoCycle e-bike in action:
And here's a short film showing how easy it is to steal bikes in New York City (something that must change, obviously):