(Photo courtesy Cami)
An Admiral woman chased and caught a suspected bike thief this afternoon. We might not have known except for Mark L.‘s comment following the unrelated Crime Watch roundup we published earlier today:
Just heard that my neighbor chased a guy down the street who stole her husband’s bicycle. He doesn’t ride it much anyway, but regardless, they caught him! Guy was in his mid-50’s and he’s on his way to jail. He should’ve known better than to steal from a marathon runner!
We commented in turn that we’d love to find out more; another commenter put us in touch with the suspect-chaser, Sarah, who agreed to tell her story:
I run for sanity, for exercise also, but mostly sanity. Today’s run, however, was not really motivated by either of those.
Amidst loads of laundry and resume editing, what appeared to be a man walking in from the side alley caught my eye. Yep, there he goes, straight into the detached garage – that I left open. My kids will love that part.
White T-shirt in hand, I B-lined for the garage as a man in his late 40’s/early 50’s emerged with a bike in hand. Unsure of the extent of my rights to defend my property, I decided not to tackle the man. Although, I have to admit, as a psychotherapist and borderline pacifist, I tend to entertain all options prior to violence.
Our misguided friend proceeded to run with the bike down the alley until he likely realized the screaming woman following him was not going back into her house to call the police. The bike was ditched and the pursuit was on.
Multiple neighbors kindly responded to my pleas for a 911 call and I continued to follow the man through the Admiral neighborhood – of course, wondering what he must be feeling and what could possibly be going on in his life to make theft a viable choice. He asked me to stop following him. I explained that he should not have been in my garage. He told me his friend was now busy emptying out my house. I explained his friend had great company to welcome him: the SPD. He was welcome to run as long and far as he wanted, I had planned on 6 miles today but could probably do 12 if need be.
Fortunately, Officer Mulloy followed the multiple leads from helpful neighbors and intercepted us on Admiral just above Schmitz Park where the man was taken into custody. Bike is safe, I am safe, the laundry is done. I can’t say, though, what this will mean for the man who felt theft was his best option today. I do hope justice is restorative.
P.S. In a bit of synchronicity, passer-by Cami had noticed this incident unfolding and took the cameraphone photo above, sharing it with us with no knowledge this story was in the works! Meantime, we hope to be able to find out the suspect’s status tomorrow.