A surveillance footage went viral on social media: a ‘brutal bicycle thief’ is taking a bicycle out of a front yard without batting an eyelid. It turns out to be a misunderstanding: the neighbour’s bicycle should be picked up.
Charles Hermans from Eersel was shocked on Thursday afternoon. Recognisable images appeared on social media showing him ‘stealing’ a bicycle in daylight. People are especially confused because the ‘thief’ already has dozens of bicycles on his trailer.
The 73-year-old man is a volunteer at the Royal Dutch Touring Club (ANWB) and collects donated bicycles for underprivileged children throughout Brabant. “Today I picked up 46 bicycles,” he says. “I’ve been doing this for half a year now. I have already collected 1,200 bicycles this month.”
Charles was supposed to pick up a bike in Best today. And he accidentally took the wrong one. “People always put the bikes that need to be picked up in the front yard. I think I made a mistake,” he says.
Charles has been in contact with the ‘victim’ and will return the bike. The man wrote on Twitter: “They didn’t look closely at the house number. The right bike they had to take with them is still at my neighbours.” The man has since removed all surveillance images from his social media.