From MPD 5D listserv:
Friday evening, around 5:00 p.m., I was on my second-story balcony and noticed a young black male walking through the alley. He ventured into the backyard of my neighbor on the 100 block of W St NW and walked up to their back porch and picked up a bike. Since he hadn’t had a bike with him when he arrived, I surmised the bike he was walking off with was not his. I yelled at him and told him to put the bike back, he looked up at me and smiled. I yelled at him again and he said, “F*** you”. He took off on the bike and I went after him. I caught him on the 1700 block of Flagler NW. When I caught up with him, he dropped the bike. I picked up the bike and also the bag he dropped.
Oddly enough, he didn’t run away even as we (me and the neighbors on Flagler who were sitting on their porches) told him we were calling the police. He called someone on his cell phone and told the person on the other end, “They have my bag”. He then started asking for his bag–even saying please. When I was on the phone with the police they told me to look into the bag and there was a nice pair of bolt cutters inside. Still, the kid did not run away despite no one restraining him. The police arrived and took him into custody. I received a call from the officer later today saying that he had been released to his parents. The reason for this message is to let everyone know that thefts are occurring even in broad daylight, the perpetrators are bold and brazen, and are pretty young. This kid told me he was 12! And, now he’s back out on the streets. Be vigilant and secure your property well!
Though not all residents of 5D agree with the action:
I remember the days when we would catch the little thieves and lecture them before walking them to thier homes to talk to thier parents. Today, 12 year olds go to jail for stealing bicycles? I live around here, too and have not witnessed any violent acts among these youth, yet. Maybe an occasional shouting match. Personally, for a 12yr old to steal a bike in broad day light is not “bold”, that’s “a kid who clearly isn’t a master career criminal but is on his way with a record now at 12yrs. Clearly he needs his own bike lol” (I’m sure the police showed up in 2 minutes flat!)
Though the MPD Commander Solberg offers his accolades:
I would like to salute the actions of Mr. Menard in yesterday’s bike theft case. Mr. Menard, while at home and on his back porch, saw a theft in progress–a young man stealing a bike from a neighbor’s backyard–and took immediate action.
He confronted the young man, and then when the kid rode away on the bike, Mr. Menard, shoeless, took off after him and with the help of some neighbors on Flagler Place, caught the young man and detained him until police arrived.
There’s community involvement, and then there’s running out of your house and chasing barefoot after a young thief on a bike. I am not encouraging all residents to adopt this approach should you witness a crime in progress.
However, the MPD would like to acknowledge the brave actions of Mr. Menard and give him a huge thank you for protecting his neighborhood and getting involved.