A woman who had lost a bicycle confronted someone who appeared to be riding that very bike over the weekend, on the edge of Washington’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Police often advise against taking any action in circumstances of that sort, and indeed, things did not go well on Sunday morning. The confrontation left the woman without either the bike or her cellphone, although she escaped without serious physical injury.

According to accounts from the D.C. police, the incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. in the 1100 block of Maryland Avenue NE, just outside the northeastern boundaries of the Capitol Hill historic district.

After spotting the bike on the broad avenue of brick sidewalks, trees and rowhouses, the woman confronted its rider, police said.

At the same time, the woman, who had a cellphone, used it to try to call the police.

The bicycle rider apparently took offense. He put down the bicycle, according to a police account, and in what another police report described as a brief struggle, knocked the phone from the woman’s hand.

Then, according to police, he picked up the phone and rode off on the bicycle.

Police said the phone thief was described as a teenager, wearing a black tank top and blue shorts with white trim.

As of Monday night, there was no police report to indicate that the woman had gotten her bike back.