Cyclists find stolen tandem via network

Jack Makepeace and Charlotte Webber on their tandem, which was stolen from their home in Fountain Street.
Jack Makepeace and Charlotte Webber on their tandem, which was stolen from their home in Fountain Street.

The eyes of 500 cyclists are looking for every bike stolen in the city.

That’s the message to thieves after members of a Leeds cycling club helped to reunite Jack Makepeace with the tandem that he rides with his fiancée, Charlotte Webber, who is blind.

Jack was reunited with his tandem bike.

Jack was reunited with his tandem bike.

Jack, 22, said: “It was locked up in my garden and they had cut the locks off it. I think someone saw it and they’ve come back with an angle grinder.

“I didn’t hold out much hope of getting it back. I thought it would be out of Leeds.”

Having seen other cyclists make appeals through social media in the past, Jack thought it was worth a shot.

His boss, Antony Henson, agreed to spread the word through the albaRosa Cycling Club and asked its 500 members for their help.

He posted a message about the theft of the bike from the couple’s home in Fountain Street, Morley, along with a picture of the tandem.

And the appeal paid off when club member Alex Easton spotted the bike while cycling along Dewsbury Road in Beeston.

“I recognised the photo but didn’t realised where from,” he said. “Then it struck me that on the way home the previous evening I had seen it. You don’t see many tandems.

“When somebody is using the tandem and it’s their only real access to cycling, it’s all the more important.”

albaRosa member Simon Schofield said: “This is a fantastic example of the cycling community in Leeds working together to help each other, fight crime and try to do something about the terrible scourge of stolen bikes.

“Bike thieves might want to bear in mind that stolen bikes really get other cyclists quite annoyed and they spare no effort in trying to reunite them with their owners.

“It means there are 1,000 eyes in Leeds looking for every bike stolen.”