On Sunday morning my wife sat next to me on the sofa and said, “We need to talk. I have sad news. “
At our advanced age, it usually means the recent death of a loved one. This time, however, the news was surprising and heartbreaking.
“I ran CoCo this morning and your tricycle is missing.” Those words prompted me to immediately run to the nearest window and look at the bike rack in front of our house, only to find that my yellow tricycle and other bikes had been stolen overnight was.
In spite of the securing of my bike with a heavy chain and strong lock, only the black cover remained, which was now spread out like a shroud on the floor and signified a period of mourning.
When I stumbled back to the sofa, I first called the Scotland Police to record my theft. I was impressed with the way the dispatcher took detailed information, set a date and time for a constable to contact me for more information, and gave me a case number. She was also empathetic and somewhat positive about my tricycle’s potential recovery. With an average of 1 in 10 bicycle thefts resolved in Scotland, I was surprised by their optimism about the chances of finding my missing boyfriend.
I then published a photo of my tricycle on various social media platforms and within a few hours more than 300 people had written letters of support and offered to help me find my stolen tricycle. Later that day, I found myself in deep despair as I wondered what would induce thieves to steal the only transport from an old man who had given me such pleasure and who had delighted thousands of others with miles of happy smiles.
That same day at 6 p.m. I received a call from a number I did not know. The caller was a former Queen Margaret University colleague, well-respected Podiatry Lecturer Evelyn Weir. She just said, “Guess what we found!” She then explained that she too had posted my missing tricycle on a local social media platform and a tipster contacted her who said he had discovered my mean yellow machine in a neighborhood “looked after” by some teenagers.
Evelyn then explained that she and her husband David went straight to Edinburgh to rescue my tricycle. I immediately thought of all the great detective programs from Rebus to Columbo to Murder She Wrote, the classic Mrs.
During the 40 mile tour of her home, Evelyn called the Scottish Police to let them know that she and David were on their way to retrieve my tricycle and seek their advice. The Scottish Police simply asked them to carefully approach the perpetrators and announce that they were there to return the trike to its owner. They also stated that if they resisted or threatened, they should withdraw immediately.
As my new heroes slowly drove through one of the poorest areas of Edinburgh, they soon spotted my distinctive tricycle parked on the corner in front of a local shop with four teenagers wearing black balaclavas and only their eyes visible. The boys either sat on the trike or stood nearby.
Evelyn told me that she straightened her shoulders and showed her best ‘Glasgow Girl’ attitude as she walked up to the group and told them, ‘Right. I’m bringing this tricycle back to its owner now. ”Soon her husband David followed, who confidently picked up the tricycle and placed it in her Land Rover.