Brazen thieves set fire to a valuable vintage motorbike after they sent a ransom note to its owner on Instagram .
The criminals demanded money from the owner of a 1951 Triumph Thunderbird worth between £7,000 and £10,000 after it was stolen from a garage in Clifton, Bristol.
The gang first bragged about having the bike on social media and threatened to burn it unless the owner paid them £1,000.
But in their most recent post, published a day after issuing the ransom, the bike is filmed being set on fire while a youth in a tracksuit and motorcycle helmet watches on, the Bristol Post reports.
To add insult to injury, the callous gang then tagged the poor owner in the comments section – saying “he didn’t listen” to their threats.
“Told u [sic] give me a grand but you didn’t listen rude boy,” the thieves wrote.
In another comment, they said: “Uno [sic] the drill, don’t pay gets burnt.
“He had the chance getting it back he never took it so unlucky.”
The video and ransom were posted by the thieves on an Instagram account called ‘biketakerrr’.
The page is the latest to have been set up as part of the notorious Bristol bike gang, which first came to prominence in January last year.
The gang – which is mostly comprised of youths and teenagers from north Bristol – steals bikes while boasting about their exploits online.
A number of members of the gang have been caught and prosecuted by police in the last year – after officers set up a special investigation, named Operation Buell, to monitor the gang’s online presence.
However, this latest account would suggest the Bristol bike gang is still active.
Although the ‘biketakerrr’ page is private, meaning its contents cannot be viewed unless followers are approved, the Bristol Post has been sent screenshots by members of the motorcycling community who are covertly investigating.
The page biography is as brazen as the thieves who hide behind it, taunting the police with statements like “no face no case” and “f*** ASP” – the abbreviation for Avon and Somerset Police.
The bike in question is just one of dozens that have been flaunted by the thieves on the ‘biketakerrr’ page, which also includes video clips of stolen bikes being driven.
The riders’ faces, meanwhile, are blurred out using smiling or pig emoji symbols.
The Triumph was stolen from an address in Clifton, overnight on Wednesday, February 7 and Thursday, February 8.
PC Peter Crawford, in an appeal for information, said the bike was later spotted in Greystoke Avenue, Southmead.
Detective Inspector Mike Ray, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "We are aware of the situation and are investigating all lines of enquiry."