From right here in Spokane. Thank you, John Waite, for (somewhat) restoring my faith in humanity.
Man follows bicycle thief for 30 minutes
How long does it take for a bicycle thief to chisel away at a bike lock? According to a local businessman, about twenty minutes.
Owner of the downtown store Merlyn’s, John Waite, noticed a man circling the Main Ave. business area eying property suspiciously around 11 a.m. and finally settling next to a bike rack in front of the Community Building.
From his pickup truck, Waite watched the man, through his vehicle mirror, chisel his way through the cords of a bike lock. During that time he called the police to report the in-progress bicycle theft.
“He finally cut through the cords and took off riding in our direction. I grabbed the bike as he’s riding it,” Waite said.
That’s when he saw an object that he interpreted as dangerous. Waite let the man on the stolen bike go.
“He had a club or something. I’m not going to get killed or stabbed over this,” Waite said.
Despite that danger, his good-will intentions did not stop. Waite says the next half hour was like a “ridiculous Hollywood movie”. He got back into his truck and followed the thief for thirty minutes while calling 911 over and over again hoping police would catch him, continuously losing him through side streets, but finding him again.
Police finally responded to his call when Waite tracked him to 2nd and Howard near Crosswalk. Officers arrested Tony M. Clark, 31, for City Theft and Malicious Mischief.
Spokane has seen heartache when it comes to bicycle theft. We reported last month of a woman that had her only mode of transportation stolen from her. Prins had her bike locked to a light pole at Howard and Riverside during a hour-long meeting. When she returned, her prized possession was gone. It was never found.
“I’ve lost two bikes and all my friends have lost their bikes in the past two years down there,” Waite said. “He was obviously trolling for the right lock or right bike. People were walking by. They weren’t paying attention.”