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Susie back in the saddle as dashing hero rescues bike
THOUSANDS of people fall victim to bike thieves in Oxford every year.
But not all of them have a Good Samaritan chasing after the culprit for them.
Jorge Villaescusa, 23, from Madrid, moved to Headington three months ago hoping to find a job as a PE teacher.
Last Wednesday night he was cycling to work at Al Andalus tapas bar in Little Clarendon Street.
He was in Cornmarket Street when, he said, “out of the blue a mad woman stopped me, saying, ‘please save my bike, I really love it, it has been stolen right now’.”
The “mad woman” was Susie Little, a chef from Oxford who has had her beloved bike for nine years.
She had just popped into Tesco in Magdalen Street to get a bag of groceries and came out five minutes later to see her bike being pedalled away down Cornmarket Street.
She has never locked the bike, she said, because she bought it for £20 and never thought anyone would bother to take a second look at it.
Mr Villaescusa could have just carried on to work, but two weeks earlier his own bike had been stolen and he understood how she felt.
“So I said okay,” he said. “You can’t just take what’s not yours.”
He turned his bike around and sped after the thief, yelling, “please, it’s not your bike”.
Halfway down Cornmarket Street he spotted the bike and told the rider to stop or he would call the police.
The thief turned out to be a woman, and from what Mr Villaescusa could make out, homeless.
“She was homeless,” he said, “in her 30s or 40s.
“I have seen her so many times in Cornmarket Street before.”
When he challenged her, she dropped the bike and ran off.
Minutes later he ws able to return the machine to Mrs Little, who covered her hero in kisses.
“I am just so delighted with it,” said Mrs Little.
“It was just a really nice thing to have done.
“He is my hero.”
She said at first she was “shaking with anger” that someone would steal her bike, but having got it back she was in such a good mood she decided not to inform the police.
She offered Mr Villaescusa a financial reward, but he refused to accept it.
So instead she hoped that publicising his good deed might help him find his ideal job as a PE teacher in a secondary school.
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