A TEENAGER risked his life by clambering up the outside of an apartment block to steal a bicycle from a third-storey balcony.
The amazing raid had another twist hours later when the Spiderman thief was confronted by the bike’s owner as he tried to sell it for £50.
Phill Lister, of The Riverine, Chapel Lane, Sowerby Bridge, stored his £400 Carerra hybrid on his 30-ft high balcony which overlooks the canal. The thief struck in the early hours and Phill said: “When I saw it gone I could not believe it. I thought my mind was playing tricks.”
It is thought the thief put sheeting over a hedge below the balcony to limit damage to the bike as he threw it down.
“There was wool on top of the hedge and there was a lot of disturbance to the hedge,” said Phill. “I was completely gutted.”
The thief is believed to have free-climbed up the apartment block by pulling himself up using the railings on the balconies.
Mr Lister, 28, a senior cashier at HSBC, Halifax, reported the theft to police and and visited shops with a description of his bike.
As he approached Shay Cycles, South Parade, Halifax, he saw three youths and one entered the shop which what proved to be his bike.
As Mr Lister reported his theft to a shop worker the owner Philip Dove was talking to the youth.
Within seconds Mr Lister realised his bike was just feet away - minus its mudguards.
“As soon as I said `that is my bike` the youth said `no it’s not` and ran out of the door,” said Mr Lister.
The youth, aged between 16 and 18 with mousy hair, escaped and the police were called and took the bike away for fingerprinting.
Philip Dove said the youth would have been sent on his way as he had no ID.
“I asked him where he got it from and he said his mum bought it a year ago,” said Mr Dove.
“I said she can’t have done as it’s the latest model and he was off - fast.”
Mr Lister said he was lucky.
“If I’d been 10 minutes later I would not have seen my bike again.
“The thief had asked for £50, that is all he wanted and I can’t believe he would risk his life for that.”