FOUND: Rockhampton business owner James Toole spotted a man riding 91-year-old Jim Radel’s stolen bike and helped lead police to his home. INSET: Jim with his bike.
FOUND: Rockhampton business owner James Toole spotted a man riding 91-year-old Jim Radel’s stolen bike and helped lead police to his home. INSET: Jim with his bike. Rachael Conaghan

91-year-old Jim Radel gets his bike back

WHEN James Toole spotted a man riding an old, blue bike down the street on Wednesday, he had half a mind to tackle him to the ground.

He recognised the bike almost immediately - it was the same one that was stolen over a week ago from 91-year-old Jim Radel, who has owned it for 68 years.

When James first read about Jim's story he said it really struck a chord with him, so he took particular notice of the photo so if he ever saw it he could identify it.

He didn't think that day would actually come.

But on Wednesday, as the local business owner was driving back from work, he saw a man riding it down Alexandra St and recognised the distinctive upturned handlebars.

"I thought to myself, 'it can't be', but I doubled back behind him and followed him," James said.

"I followed him about six blocks, all the way to his house."

When James pulled up he looked at the story on The Morning Bulletin's website and, once he saw the photo, he was 100% sure it was the same bike.

He called the police and waited patiently until they arrived and arrested the young man.

Jim said he expected the bike to be at the bottom of a lake, but he got it back that afternoon in the same condition it was when it was stolen- missing the front basket.

He said he's been swamped with goodwill and support."It's nice to see that when we have little hiccups in life, that people are so nice," he said.

"With all the drug use and domestic violence it's easy to think the world's gone to pieces … but there are nice people around."

Police confirmed a 17-year-old man has been charged with unlawful possession of property, and will be in court next month.



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