Bike stolen in Banbury 'found through Facebook'

Photograph of offender stealing bike
Image caption Mr Mulhall posted the images on Facebook and asked his friends for information

A man has tracked down his stolen bike after he put pictures of the thief on the social networking site Facebook.

The unlocked mountain bike was taken from outside Simon Mulhall's house in Banbury, Oxfordshire, on Sunday.

He posted pictures from security cameras at his property and appealed to his friends after police said it was unlikely it would ever be found.

A woman came forward with information and the bike was located. Police said they would talk to the culprit.

'Thief remorseful'

Mr Mulhall, who said he installed the cameras after an attempted burglary at his home, said: "The first thing I did [after the bike was taken] was go back through the CCTV and it appears this lad just walked up the drive... pinched the bike and off he went.

"The police came straight away and did a bit of a search round and said we don't think we're going to get it back but here's a crime number.

Image caption Mr Mulhall said he installed CCTV cameras after an attempted burglary

"I thought it wouldn't do any harm to post the images on Facebook.

"One of my friends posted the pictures on her wall and another lady who was one of her friends but not my friend said she thought she saw it being stolen.

"The woman then said later on that day as she walked her dog she spotted someone riding a similar bike.

"I drove up there and sure enough this kid was there and he said he had found it... but then he coughed to the whole thing."

He said the youth, aged about 13, was remorseful and he decided not to take the matter further.

Police said they would be "having a word" with the culprit.

The crime will be recorded locally rather than put on the national database which would have resulted in the offender being given a criminal record.

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