Monday, 28 October 2019
One Brussels resident whose efforts to find his stolen bike yielded little results in Belgium has managed to locate it abroad thanks to a mobile app, an online forum — and foreign government officials.
Denis Hacquin, whose electric bike got stolen while it was “indoors and attached” in Ixelles around a month ago, has found his bike some 2,000 kilometres away, in the Albanian city of Fier, south of Tirana.
Declaring that he was close to giving up hope after things moved slowly after he filed a complaint to local police, Hacquin said he managed to track down his bicycle via a feature called Find My Bike included in the e-bike’s mobile app.
“I had given up hope until the Find My Bike [feature] suddenly indicated that my bike was in Budapest and, not much later, in the Albanian [city] of Fier,” he told Bruzz.
@ediramaal Hi, I'm trying to get help or get in touch with authorities to recover a valuable e-bike that was stolen from me in Belgium and just got located with precision in Fier, Albania. Any help or guidance would be immensely appreciated.
— Denis Hacquin (@DenisHacquin) October 14, 2019
Frustrated after police took two weeks to get back to him following his reports about his discovery, Hacquin took his appeal to Albanians themselves, posting on the online forum Reddit, which he said set things in motion.
He received nearly a hundred replies from members willing to help him locate his stolen two-wheeler, including one from a user who recommended he contact the Albanian Interior Ministry, which he did. “I sent that e-mail, and the day after they had found my bike,” he told Bruzz.
In an update to members of the forum, Hacquin said his bike had been located by Fier authorities, thanking the Albanian Interior Minister and adding he was now working on getting his bike back to Belgium.
“The bike was recovered by the authorities in Fier thanks to the Find my bike feature in the Cowboy app and the tremendous help of the deputy minister of interior Romina Kuko who has been super helpful and responsive,” Hacquin wrote on Reddit.
The Brussels Times