Tory leader Cameron reunited with his stolen bikeJuly 27th, 2008 - 7:43 pm ICT by IANS
London, July 27 (IANS) Britain’s Conservative leader David Cameron has been reunited with his bicycle that was stolen from a supermarket near his west London home. The 300-pound Scott bike was stolen Wednesday outside the Tesco store in Notting Hill where the Tory leader was busy shopping groceries for dinner, The Sunday Mirror newspaper reported.
The newspaper said it had used the contacts of “local community elder” Ernest Theophile, 60, to find the bike just an hour later - it was found dumped in a nearby street with the front wheel missing.
“Thank you very much indeed. I’m very surprised to have it back - it’s incredible. I never thought I’d see it again,” 41-year-old Cameron was quoted as saying by the daily.
“It’s priceless to me. I’ve done over a thousand miles on it and three sponsored bike rides of 250 miles each, so it’s like an old friend. It’s fantastic,” he said.
According to the newspaper, Cameron’s helmet was still hanging from the handlebar when the distinctive black and silver bike was found.
Cameron said: “I’m surprised they didn’t take the helmet - you’d think they would get something for that on eBay.”
Ernest, who found the bike after getting a tip-off from some of the youths in the area around Portobello Road, said: “I’m delighted that it’s a happy ending. After a chat with some of the kids, I got their trust and respect and they told me where the bike was.”
Ernest, a staunch Labour supporter, runs a small “social business” selling electric-powered eco-bikes in the locality. He said: “You never want to see anyone have their bike nicked - not even a Tory.”
According to the report, after realising his cycle was stolen, the Tory leader was so frustrated that he even sought for the introduction of strict Sharia law that provides for cutting off the hand of the thief.
“I was joking about Sharia law,” he was quoted as saying after he got his bike back. “It was an authentic outburst of rage because it is frustrating. I was late and I had to walk home,” an apparently relaxed Cameron said after being united with his loving bicycle.
The police later took fingerprints from the bike and were studying CCTV footage to identify the thief.