A bicycle thief may think twice before returning to East Tosa after several alert citizens banded together to track him across the neighborhood – and the bike's owner rammed him off it with his car.
At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a caller reported a man in a car chasing a bicycle thief in the area of North 63rd Street and West Meinecke Avenue.
Police arrived to find a woman walking her dog who was aware that a chase was on, and she pointed out a woman nearby who had witnessed the crime. An officer began to interview that woman, learning that she had been dropping her child off at her babysitter’s home in the 2400 block of North 70th Street – seven block east – when a young man stole the bicycle out of the front yard.
Her babysitter’s son had taken out after him in his car, she said. She was the one who called police, and she followed to monitor the situation for officers.
Before she could say more, though, the woman with the dog shouted to officers that she had just seen the suspect in the alley between 63rd and 64th streets.
The officer gave chase on foot, but the suspect eluded him. The thief was last seen running through yards in the 2600 block of 63rd Street – by the woman who had first witnessed the theft.
Officers were finally able to interview the babysitter's son, who said he had seen the suspect steal the bike and gave chase in his car, catching up to him at 63rd Street, where he rammed the bike from behind and forced the thief off it.
He got out and confronted the thief, who threw a wild punch that didn’t land, and the bike’s owner in turn threw a punch that also missed. The suspect then ran off through a yard and lost his pursuer in the neighborhood.
The thief was described as black, 17 to 22 years old, 5-feet-7 to 5-feet-10-inches tall, 170 to 185 pounds, with a stocky build, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and a purple cap.