Man in China takes bike padlocked to a tree trunk by chopping down the entire tree

A video shows a Chinese man sawing a tree so as to get to a bicycle padlocked to it.
A video shows a Chinese man sawing a tree so as to get to a bicycle padlocked to it.SCREENGRAB: YOUTUBE/PEOPLE'S DAILY CHINA

It looks like a clip from an old silent comedy movie, but it really happened.

Closed-circuit television footage of a man who saws down a tree to take a bicycle in central China has surfaced.

The video, shared on China's People's Daily, was reportedly taken on Monday (Aug 8) in Changsha. The time stamp on the video is 5.44am, August 8, 2016.

It shows the man arriving on a scooter and starting to saw the trunk of the tree to which a bicycle is padlocked.

After about a minute, he is seen walking back to his scooter as another motorist passes by.

Once the vehicle passes, he goes back to sawing the tree. After the tree topples, he picks up the bicycle and places it on his scooter.

People's Daily labelled the footage "appalling", while some Chinese netizens jokingly commented on his "creativity".

According to Chinese reports, the man made at least one earlier visit to the camphor tree at 5.30am.

A Changsha police spokesman said that the tree is about five to six years old, and is worth about 1000 (S$202) to 2000 yuan.

He added that it would have been easier to cut the lock on the bicycle than to cut the tree.

However, it is not certain that this is a case of theft, the police said, adding that it could be that the man is the owner of the bicycle who had forgotten his key.