Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mystery of the abandoned bicycle

This is just a little peculiar story that took place last Friday in Turku, Finland, and that was covered by several national newspapers and tabloids. Here's a loose translation of the version in Turun Sanomat.

The abandoned bike. Image published in Turun Sanomat.

On Friday morning this sight on the river bank promenade made people wonder what had happened to the bike's owner. It seemed like a traveller had been mugged because bags and camping stuff was lying around in a random pile, and some of it was tied on the bike. There were rumours about four suspected owners: a drunken German tourist, a thief, a man wearing a uniform cap, and a portuguese lifestyle traveller.

The police suspected that the owner had fallen into the river Aura, so they called on the emergency services and divers and launched a huge search operation. The situation was extrodinary because nobody had actually seen the poor guy falling into the river. However, they found no body and the mystery wasn't solved.

Later in the evening they found the man they were looking for nowhere else but in safe police custody. The man had talked so unclearly that the policemen didn't know which language he was speaking. When they finally could communicate with the hero of the day, they found out that he was the owner of the mystery bike, and that most of the rumours had a hint of truth: he was a Portuguese lifestyle traveller that was wearing an uniform cap and had been arrested outside of a restaurant, although the story doesn't clearly tell if he was drunk or not.

What can I say, life is a sarcastic bitch (just like Lacey on Rock of Love). In the end, all is well and nobody drowned. Apperently not even the bike was stolen. The police suffered a blow on their credibility, and the policemen of Turku are a laughing stock of the country, but that's not really news, is it?

P.S. A week from now I'll be on a cycling holiday in the archipelago, so my next post will be about that. I promise to bring you lotsa nice holiday pictures!


außerirdischesindgesund said...

This reads very Aki Kaurismäki ;)

l' homme au velo said...

On the Contrary the Police are to be Commended on Setting up a Search of the River in spite of it being a false Alarm it could have been a very Tragic Situation,Top Marks to them. Also it says something about the Honesty of the People who live there when his Bike or Stuff was not Robbed. That is another Top Mark for the People of the Locality.

Although it might just be look owing to the fact it was late at Night and nobody noticed the Bike in the Dark to Rob it.

It is a pity you did not find out what happened to the Man afterwards. Was he Fined or did they just let him go on his way.

This happened a few times in Ireland People thought someone had Drowned and Divers were sent down Rivers and after a Fruitless Search the Person turned up Safe and Sound later on.This is Standard Procedure by the Police to Mount Searches and someone turns up Safe and well,no need to be embarrassed.

Frits B said...

Homme au velo: Commendable yes, but it would have saved everybody a lot of time (and the taxpayer a lot of money) if they had asked around in their own organisation first. On the other hand, if they could find the time at all it says much about Turku's safety.

anna said...

Interesting things are happening in Turku! Thanks for sharing this. I'm also looking forward to your holiday picutures, have fun :-).

Nick said...

Amazing - I can't think of many cities where a bike and luggage could lie for that long without something being stolen - or where the police would be convinced to take action on the small evidence available, come to that.

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