If you suspected that a stranger had just stolen a bicycle from a store, would you confront the perpetrator? One eagle-eyed Manhattan man gathered all the knowledge he had accumulated in his life from Hardy Boys books, and did just that: he spotted, followed, and helped police catch a bicycle thief yesterday, all the while documenting his adventures in amateur sleuthing with pictures and a video on his blog.
Jayson Elliot first spotted the man pushing a brand new Giant TCR ("$3,000+ carbon fiber road bike"), he assumed from the nearby Metro Bicycle on Varick Street. It didn’t have pedals on the cranks yet, and the price tags were still dangling from the frame—therefore he thought it was "in the condition that the bike would be displayed on the rack, not the condition it would be if you bought it and were taking it home." With the guy acting strangely—half-walking and half-running)—Elliot began to think the bike might be stolen, and "decided to just walk behind him for a bit and see where he went." And he took the video below while doing so:
He called Metro Bicycles to see if anything had been stolen: "The guy on the phone shouted “oh, fuck!” and dropped the receiver." When he called back, the employee confirmed that a bike had just been stolen. After that employee caught up with Elliot, they followed him more from Soho into the East Village, up Bowery and past St. Mark’s. After the man went into a secondhand clothing store at 10th Street, they were able to track down a policeman, who quickly caught the thief: "Just like every episode of COPS, the perp (I’m using COPS talk now hell yeah) kept saying 'why are you arresting me?' and 'can you tell me what I did?"