Police find stolen bike after 15 years

Police in Sweden have reunited a woman with her bicycle, 15 years after it was reported stolen.

Agneta Wallen, 34, who was given the pushbike when she was a schoolgirl, thought she was being taken for a ride when police phoned her at her home in Gavle, eastern Sweden, to say her long-lost companion had been found.

Mrs Wallen reported the theft to the police in 1996 after her bike disappeared from outside her work. But after a year with no results, she soon gave up hope of ever seeing it again. On Wednesday 23rd August, however, police located the aging beauty in Soderhamn, a city Wallen had never visited 69km north of her home.

“I thought it was someone pulling my leg. I thought they must’ve had the wrong number,” she told The Local. “I laughed so much that the police eventually started laughing too. I was sure it was a prank my husband was playing on me. It wasn’t until I phoned the police back directly that I actually believed the bike was found,” she added.

The bike’s journey over the last decade and a half will probably never be known, but Mrs Wallen said it has hardly changed apart from some extra patches of rust. In fact, the only clue to its previous whereabouts is a Red Cross price sticker, indicating that it was once for sale in a charity shop.

Police say they identified the modest two-wheeler using Wallen’s personal identification number which she carved into the frame.

The 34 year-old says she is thrilled to be reunited with her old travelling partner. “I was given the bike when I was in high school. The memories came flooding back as soon as I saw it,” she told The Local.