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Twitter 1, cowardly bike thief 0

The messenger community of New York is so active on Twitter that just one tweet leads to the recovery of a fellow messenger's stolen orange bike.

It's been proven of late that some on Wall Street are dishonest people who might not even think once about stealing whatever they can get their hands on.

However, this rampant disease of thieving seems to have spread to the corners of Madison Avenue. No, not to the sweet, confused coke-snorters of the advertising world (there aren't many of them left on Madison these days), but to bike thieves.

According to CBS2 New York, there was Austin Horse, a bike messenger, who had just hopped off his saddle to make a routine delivery to an address on Madison Avenue and East 28th Street (disclosure: the rear entrance to the apartment building in which I used to live). It took around 30 seconds. When he looked up, his lovely orange bike had been pilfered by some piffling miscreant.

Please keep your bike firmly tethered, especially in New York. CC Tandem Racer/Flickr

The normal New York reaction might have been to scream very loud, employ many words beginning with the sixth letter of the alphabet and then to simply rip someone else's bike from around a parking meter and ride off on it.

Horse, however, has sterner loins. For his instinctive reaction was to whip out his BlackBerry and, rather like Lance Armstrong not so many moons ago, tweet the pain of his theft.

"STOLEN BIKE! My orange gangsta just got stolen 28th & mad," he tweeted. Messengers are, it seems, a rather tighter community than most bike teams. And Horse managed to help his pedaling brethren by adding a picture to a subsequent tweet.

It took a mere three hours for a fellow messenger, who also happens to be a friend, to spot the bike on the Lower East Side. "There was the bike upside down right outside, even with the blinking light still flashing," Eddie Brannan told CBS2.

Brannan had many choices on spotting Horse's bike. He could have confronted the cowardly fiend who had stolen the precious orange work cycle. Instead, he took a slightly vigilante approach. He went over to it and stole it right back.

Horse, a two-time North American Cycle Courier Champ, immediately took to his Twitter page,, again: "To everyone who's interrupted their day to help me out, I really appreciate it. I owe each and everyone of you the biggest thanks."

Soon, we will all Twitter before we even speak. Which, in New York, will make for a rather cultured change.