Two Los Angeles bike couriers turned Good Samaritan on Monday when they pursued a bike thief for five blocks and knocked him off the bike, causing him to flee.
The LAPD is now searching for the miscreant, whom it describes as “a 30-year-old man with a torn shirt, a possibly sprained ankle, as well as road rash."
The bike’s owner, 43-year-old Jesus Tobar, had been exercising at the 24-hour-fitness gym in downtown LA when he discovered that his Iron Horse Desperado mountain bike had disappeared, and went back to the gym to see if the perpetrator had been caught on CCTV.
But two of LA’s finest – in this case, couriers, not police – had witnessed the theft, and were already on the case, chasing the thief through busy streets and across pavements until one caught him and pulled him to the ground by dragging his shirt. The man then fled, enabling the couriers to recover the bike.
Commander Andrew Smith of the LAPD was quoted on the website LA Now as saying: "This was a wild, high-speed bicycle chase through crowded streets of the Jewelry Mart."
As reported earlier this month on road.cc, bike theft is becoming increasingly prevalent in the city, with cyclists starting to administer their own form of street justice when suspected thieves are caught – recently, two were relieved of their clothes, backpacks and mobile phones, and left to find their way home dressed only in their boxer shorts.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.