Residents club together for 'Dear bike thief' letter writer
A group of residents clubbed together to buy a new bike for a stranger who left a letter for the thief that pinched his in Reading.
Rachel Thomas said she was "gutted" to see the note from Alex, who described the misery of having his bike stolen.
It read: "I could only afford that bike after one year of working my tears out... I only had it for a week".
Ms Thomas was so moved she started a funding page on a website on Tuesday which raised £750.
She said: "My husband commutes on his bike every day. I enjoy the occasional trip to town on mine - I'm admittedly a fair weather cyclist. But I understand the freedom a bike can give and how amazing life can be when you have your own brand new wheels.
"I don't want Alex to regret recently moving to Reading - I love my little town.
"I've been helped out by strangers before and I'd love Alex to be able to not just see our town on two wheels but feel welcomed by its community."
In the letter, pinned to a bike rack in Broad Street, Alex encouraged the thief to give the bike back, and said he would wait each day at 18:00 GMT for it to be returned.
However, when he returned to the bike rack, Ms Thomas met him and gave him the money collected to purchase a new bicycle.
Alex, from Bulgaria, said he was "humbled" and the donations had "restored" his "faith in human nature".