Marc Cutter, 35, a PR executive from Islington, had his bike stolen from Columbia Road Flower market in Shoreditch, and phoned police to report the crime only to be told that it would be 72 hours before they could look in to it. 

He began trawling online auction sites looking for the bike and found it on Gumtree so posed as a buyer, along with a friend, and confronted the ‘seller’. 

Yet after confronting the thief and despite having the receipt for the bike, Cutler called police again only to be told that they could not be there any quicker than an hour and a half hour to apprehend the bike-thief

“It amazes me the only way to get something back is by doing everything myself and putting myself and my friends in potential harms way,” Cutter has said of the situation that put his sleuthing skills to the test.