This is the moment a brazen thief tried to charge an Uber Eats cyclist £20 to buy his OWN £2,000 bike back – which he had just stolen from outside a McDonald’s in Gloucestershire.
In a viral video, Harry Virgoe, 22, can be seen receiving a warning message while inside the fast food restaurant in Gloucester on April 8, telling him his expensive e-bike was being moved.
In dramatic scenes captured by his GoPro camera, Mr Virgoe shouts: ‘Someone’s got my bike’, before running outside the Westgate Street chain and chasing thief Kean Cunningham, 42, as he cycles away into the darkness.
Kean Cunningham, 42, points to cash machine as he asks Harry Virgoe, 22, for £20 to give him his own bike back
Cheltenham Magistrates Court confirmed that Kean Cunningham (pictured) was committed to prison for 16 weeks in total on April 10
Mr Virgoe (pictured), from Hucclecote, Gloucester, agreed to give Cunningham the money in a bid to stall before police arrived
‘Hero’ delivery driver (left) confronts bike thief Cunningham (right), after helping Mr Virgoe track him down in his car
The battery-powered bike had cost Mr Virgoe £1,700 while the tracker, lights, seat pads and other accessories raised its value to just over £2,000.
In the video, Mr Virgoe pleads with the thief to stop as he runs out of breath while chasing after him – before quickly employing the help of a ‘hero’ delivery driver and his car to hunt Cunningham down by using a tracking app on his phone.
Mr Virgoe can be heard liaising with police as the pair catch up with the thief, before finally intercepting him as he shouts: ‘Put the bike down, bro’.
Despite being caught red-handed, the brazen thief dismounts and even tries to charge Harry £20 to buy it back – but police quickly swoop in to arrest him.
Mr Virgoe has since expressed his gratitude to the stranger for his heroics, suggesting the selfless samaritan was more eager to find the bike than he was.
He says he offered to pay the driver, who he branded a ‘legend’, for his time and help, but he flat out refused to accept any money.
Cunningham, meanwhile, was jailed for 16 weeks two days later for theft of a bike while serving a suspended sentence and was ordered to pay the victim £815 in compensation – but Mr Virgoe says he hasn’t seen a penny of it yet.
The grateful cyclist has since shared his GoPro footage on YouTube where it has racked up more than 360,000 views, with users heaping praise on the ‘legendary’ helper.
Mr Virgoe, from Hucclecote, Gloucester, said: ‘I couldn’t believe the audacity he had to ask me for £20, but he was obviously panicking and that’s the first thing he thought of.
The ‘hero’ delivery driver (pictured) has been praised in the video of the incident online, which has garnered more than 300,000 hits
Cunningham immediately begins demanding £20 for the bike after being intercepted
Moment ‘hero’ delivery driver agrees to help Mr Virgoe track down his bike’s thief
Mr Virgoe said pretending to get the money brought Cunningham (pictured left) under the Tesco shop light, allowing him to capture better quality footage of him on his GoPro camera (Pictured right : Delivery driver talks to Tesco security guard)
Mr Virgoe parked his bike outside the McDonald’s (pictured) and had planned to be inside the restaurant for 30 seconds when it was stolen
‘He was lying enough times to believe it himself, and once you do that it does sound convincing. I knew it was him [who stole the bike]. He was just talking out of his a**e.
‘He was quite intimidating. He’s a big guy.
‘The only reason I was offering to give him the money was just to keep him there while the police came. It allowed me to get him over to where the bright lights and the shop is, so it worked out well.’
The Uber Eats cyclist was quick to praise the unknown driver who kindly joined the hunt to track down his bike.
Harry said: ‘The driver is a hero. He was just doing what he thought was right and didn’t care about getting paid for it or anything.
‘He didn’t know me, he didn’t know what bike I was riding, and he didn’t see anything happen, but he was just on it. He probably would have missed out on a few orders.
‘My worst fear came true really. The bike is the only thing I need to do my job. I don’t have a driving licence, so without it I can’t work. I’m a really lucky guy.’
Mr Virgoe was three hours into his shift when his alarm suddenly triggered inside the McDonald’s.
He recalled: ‘As soon as the alarm went off I realised what had happened.
‘I was wearing motorcycle boots, two jumpers and three coats, and he was riding downhill so he managed to get away even though he couldn’t figure out how to turn the bike on.
‘When he rode off, I’d lost hope. I dropped everything and I asked if this man could help find my bike and he said yeah.
‘I’ve learned from experience that if something like that happens you need to get into a car, so we just took matters into our own hands.
‘I think he was more keen on getting the bike back than I was because he was swearing about him in the car, and when we were running up to him, he was running faster than me.’
He added: ‘When I found [Cunningham] I was just filled with adrenaline and I was excited that I’d seen my bike again.
Police quickly arrived to the scene having been called by Mr Virgoe as he pursued Cunningham in a car
Mr Virgoe initially pursued Cunningham on foot as he pleaded with him to give him back the bike
Cunningham ignored Mr Virgoe as he rode off into the darkness with the stolen e-bike, worth £2,000
Moment Mr Virgoe and the delivery driver catch up with Cunningham
‘I didn’t have any weapons on me and I don’t really have any self defence skills. All I had on me was the camera on my chest.
‘They had police coming from five or six miles away and it happened to be really good timing. They turned up as I’d got the bike off the guy.
‘When I got the bike back I just said [to the mystery hero] “you’re a legend” and tried to offer him the money the thief wanted, but he said he didn’t want my money. I’m really grateful.’
The cycling enthusiast had left his e-bike unlocked but he insists he timed the pick-up so he’d only be in the restaurant for 30 seconds.
He says he even parked his bike facing the door, jamming it so someone would need to spin it around to move it, while also knowing electric bikes are harder to pedal away without being turned on.
He recalls he got a clear look at Cunningham when the thief turned back to see he was being chased outside McDonald’s, so knew he’d got the right man once he caught up with him.
The thief, based in Gloucester, had ripped the bike’s control screen away during his getaway, leaving Mr Virgoe to spend £600 and four weeks off work having it repaired.
He has been working for Uber Eats for 10 months and is still enjoying riding the same bike which joins his passion for cycling with making a living.
Harry’s GoPro footage, posted to 25,000-subscriber YouTube channel London Eats, has been liked more than 4,000 times and commented on more than 1,200 times.
One viewer said: ‘That stranger guy was a legend, plus this thief got served. And the way he was lying on the top of that. Total waste man.’
Another commented: ‘What an absolute hero the driver was. I hope good things come his way.’
One added: ‘The Uber driver deserves a lot of praise for helping the Lad get his property back no doubt!’
Cheltenham Magistrates Court confirmed that Kean Cunningham was committed to prison for 16 weeks in total on April 10 was ordered to pay £815 compensation to Mr Virgoe. He served four weeks for theft of the bike and 12 for breaching a suspended sentence.