Yesterday I started a new series called Have You Seen My Stolen Bike?. I’m psyched one bike from yesterday’s post has been returned (and we got some leads on the other bike.)
my sister and i were driving up the alley and passed someone who i recognized as a local homeless fella standing in a driveway holding a bicycle. it took me a moment to realize that he most likely doesn’t own a bike and that he was probably stealing it, so i decided to go back and stop him. in the few minutes it took me to return, some other people in the alley had caught him in their backyard snooping around and were holding him until the police came (he has stolen stuff from them before). i pointed out that i saw him with a bike and we found it stashed in the next driveway. we couldn’t prove that it was stolen since we were unable to identify the owner of the bike, but the cops arrested him for trespassing and impounded the bike. i took some photos and was going to make up some flyers and post it on p.o.p. when i came across the owner’s posting.”
Prior to that a couple of other readers wrote in with tips.
I’m happy to report that after your post on my wife’s stolen bike, we were able to recover it from the hundreds held by MPD. Getting the bike back was a major relief, and it was extra-pleasing to see an appeal to our PoPville neighbors work so effectively.
Most of the credit goes to a neighbor on our block who observed the thief (a habitual drunk with a long history of petty crime) lean my wife’s bike against a gate to another house on our alley and surreptitiously enter that yard. The observing neighbor called to a resident at the house, who immediately recognized the thief, called the police, and held the man until they arrived. The police arrested the man for unlawful entry and will now also charge him with theft.
(BTW, the MPD, contrary to certain comments to the earlier post, displayed an avid interest in returning our bike and augmenting charges against the thief.)
The happy outcome of this episode is a great stroke of luck. But it illustrates the great potential for fighting crime in neighbors actively looking out for one other. It also shows the powerful role that communication here can play. As you know, we received multiple leads from your readers, and we wouldn’t have recovered the bike without them.
Ted and Miranda”