Half-Maltese Woman Who 'Stole' Her Stolen Bicycle Back From Thief Goes Viral
She executed the plan to end all plans
Jenni Morton-Humphreys, a 30-year-old woman from Bristol, is currently going viral on UK and international media for her perfectly elaborate plan of stealing back her bicycle from a thief who was selling it on Facebook. Jenni, who is half-Maltese and lived in Siġġiewi for 13 years before moving to Bristol, managed to pull all of this off within hours of having her bike stolen, definitely showing some signature Maltese resourcefulness in the process.
"I cycle a lot, and anyone who knows me knows how much I love my bike and how angry I was when it was stolen!" Jenni told Lovin Malta. It all started on a Sunday morning, when Jenni locked her expensive bike up in the city centre and went for brunch and a day out in town. When she returned, she found that her bike had been stolen, and while she did admit it was "a long shot", she posted photos of her bike on the Bristol Cycling Facebook page after reporting to the police. Amazingly, within a couple of hours, a man on the group (referred to as Chris for the purposes of this story) not only spotted it, but also found the bike online... being sold for a way cheaper price.
Even though he had never met Jenni, Chris contacted her, and together, they hatched an elaborate plan to get her bike back. It was Chris who contacted the thief-seller, saying his sister (who was actually Jenni) wanted a bike and would be meeting him to buy it off him. The seller, who called himself Bebop on Facebook, informed them that his friend, 'Rocksteady', would actually be there for the transaction. Jenni informed the police of the arrangement, who said they would be investigating further, but discouraged her from going in case the situation was a dangerous one. Jenni decided to go anyway, taking her friend Matt, who joined her but stayed far enough ahead to not be seen with her.
"I pretended to be interested and asked silly questions about the bike," Jenni said. "I said the saddle was too high, and asked if I could get on it to test it out. I made sure I had nothing on me, no possessions at all apart from the stuff in my hands – and they were a cigarette packet and a set of keys". (In a twist of beautiful irony and karma, these keys were actually to the chain that was cut when Jenni's bike was stolen just over 18 hours earlier) "I handed them to this guy as I got on the bike and said ‘here, hold my stuff’."
"That meant he let go of the bike for the first time," she continued. "I wobbled off a bit on the bike and then when I was a couple of yards away I just went for it. I pedalled as fast as I could." And just like that, Jenni was gone.
Bebop instantly messaged Chris complaining that Jenni had just gone off with the bike, but he quickly learnt that the original owner had managed to come back for her bike. "Lesson to be learned son," Chris said in his last message to the thief. "Don't steal from the cycling community for a quick fix. You played yourself."
"They had even spruced the bike up a bit overnight," Jenni said about the awesome discovery when she got back home. "They'd even fixed the front light."
Jenni's perfectly-devised plan, which actually happened back in April, came to light earlier this week when a friend of hers told her story in a blog entry on LiteLok. Since then, it's gone absolutely viral, already being reported by the Bristol Post, the Mirror, the Telegraph, Koha.net and Yahoo! News. "I'm famous, I'm never speaking to any of you ever again," Jenni joked on Facebook this weekend.
Jenni, whose mother is actually Maltese, lived in Malta until she was 13 years old. "I actually tried cycling in Malta a couple of years ago," she told Lovin Malta. "I was really excited because it's a small and relatively flat island, so I thought it would be easy and fun to get around. In fact, within one minute of riding my bike some dangling electric cables left over from a festa or something caught in my wheel on Psaila road, and threw me into oncoming traffic. I actually called the police to see who was responsible and they said nothing!"
For more regular shenanigans from the half-Maltese schemer herself, follow her on Instagram.