Bristol cyclist steals back her own £800 bike in sting

Jenni Morton Humphreys
Image caption Jenni Morton-Humphreys now uses a less expensive bike to get around Bristol

Police are warning victims of crime not to take the law into their own hands after a cyclist successfully reclaimed her stolen bike in a sting.

Jenni Morton-Humphreys, from Bristol, found her bike on social media. She met and tricked the culprit to get it back.

She said: "I cycled on the pavement, fell off a couple of times, then I saw a corner, took it and cycled as fast as I could and didn't look back."

Police say such actions gives suspects a head start in destroying evidence.

An Avon and Somerset police spokesman said: "We'd advise against people taking matters into their own hands due the risks involved and the fact it provides criminals with an opportunity to destroy evidence before we can investigate them.

"In this case we've carried out a full investigation into the theft of the bike and have kept in regular contact with the victim throughout.

"We have exhausted all current possible lines of enquiry pending new information."

The £800 Cube bike was stolen about six weeks ago from a bike rack at the Harbourside in Bristol.

As soon as Ms Morton-Humphreys realised it had gone, she posted photos of her bike on a Bristol Cycling Facebook appealing for its return.

Within two hours a member of the Facebook group saw it advertised for sale for £100.

Image caption The £800 bike was locked up near the Harbourside in Bristol when it was stolen

He then remained in touch with the seller, saying his 'sister' wanted it and arranged for them to meet the following day.

Ms Morton-Humphreys took a friend who remained close by for safety during the sting.

She said: "I made sure I didn't have any other possessions on me in case they said 'why don't you give us your phone, or give us your money or bank card' or something.

"If I just gave them some keys and cigarettes they would think I would come back.

"In fact it was two keys to the bike locks that they had cut off my bike."

After cycling away, her friend told her the seller "just stood there looking confused".

Ms Morton-Humphreys, whose sting has gone viral on social media, said she now uses her "less expensive" bike to travel around Bristol.

She also said she was more worried about her bike's safety when she came face to face with the culprits, in case it was vandalised.

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