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72-year-old great grandmother fights bike thief and returns a stolen bike

"I'm sure he must be a bit embarrassed now that he was beaten by a 72-year-old woman," she said.

Photo: Daily Mail

At 4ft 3in and 72 years of age, Mari Parker did not start her day expecting to fight a 6 ft tall 23-year-old. With the odds against her, she managed to save a stolen bike and scare off the thief. Parker, who has seven great-grandchildren and eight grandchildren, said: “I’m sure he must be a bit embarrassed now that he was beaten by a 72-year-old woman.”

Working at her son’s antique shop in Barnsley, UK, Parker knew something was up when a man came into her store trying to sell a Lapierre X-Control for £150. Recognizing it may be a stolen bike, she thought quickly and told him that she would have her son look at the bike to appraise the value. The bike, worth £1,200, was posted in a local stolen bikes Facebook group Parker’s son belongs to. When her son arrived, he recognized the bike and they refused to give it back to the thief. The thief eventually left.

Thinking the incident was over, Parker called the 13-year-old owner of the bike as her son stepped out to run an errand. When she was left alone, the bike thief returned to the shop and attempted to take the bike to steal it back. The great-grandmother grabbed the handlebars and refused to let go as the thief wrestled with her. He dragged the bike onto the street but Parker held on tightly, even as he pushed her into a van and her hands began to bleed. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Parker said: ” I refused to let go. I knew a young boy was coming back for his bike and I couldn’t tell them we didn’t have it.” Eventually a few customers came to help her and the thief gave up and ran away.

13-year-old Luke Hodson was “Over-the moon to get his bike back,” said his grandfather. “It is his pride and joy. He rides it everywhere. I think Mari was wonderful, for a 72-year-old to do that is so heroic. They could have had a knife or even pushed her over. she is so brave. My admiration knows no bounds.”