Bike thief apprehended near Plantz

Emily Passey

Two students aided in the capture and arrest of a bike thief behind Plantz at about 8:45 Wednesday morning.
Adam Berey had just gotten out of bed at the Co-op House when he noticed a suspicious-looking man tugging on bikes in the racks behind Plantz Hall. “I just knew that he was looking for something to steal,” says Berey.
The suspect, who appeared to be between 17 and 22 years old, found an unlocked bike and managed to pull it free.
Berey had been watching the man while fellow Co-op member Trevor Long was heading out to the con and encouraged him to pursue the thief.
“At first I didn’t believe [him],” says Long of Berey’s account of the happenings outside Plantz. Long grabbed his skateboard and ran out the front door in the direction of the suspect.
According to Long, the suspect had in fact managed to find a loose bicycle and was attempting to mount the bike. Long headed toward the suspected thief, demanding, “Hey, man, is that your bicycle?”
According to Long, the suspect replied that it was his bike, and began riding away from him, north on Union Street. “I gave chase on my skateboard,” Long says.
Berey and Joe Pfender had been watching the encounter from inside the Co-op house, and had noticed an Appleton Police Department squad car heading south on Union. Meanwhile, Long and the suspect turned east onto Washington, with Long shouting after the man to stop.
The police car followed them down Washington, just behind the Con. Long and the suspect noticed the cop car as it pulled up behind them.
Long signaled to the police officers that the man had stolen the bike. The cop sounded one siren and pulled up beside the suspect, at which time the man apparently crashed into the squad car.
The police officer got out of his car to inquire about the suspect; Long filled him in on what he and Berey witnessed at the bike racks before leaving the scene for a few minutes. Berey convinced Long to return to the scene to give a complete statement.
Soon two more squad cars pulled up, including a supervisor. Long reports, “He had me sit in the back of the squad car and I told him exactly what happened.” The police officers were concerned especially with Long’s account of the suspect crashing into the squad car, rather than the car crashing into him.
According to Long, the police said that they had had a call about a suspicious-looking man wandering in the vicinity of Plantz Hall, carrying a 12- pack – explaining why the Appleton Police Department was patrolling the area at the time.
The police discovered that the man had been drinking heavily, finding the 12-pack of Budweiser in his backpack. While Long did not witness the police issue a Breathalyzer, it seemed conclusive that the man was in fact drunk.
According to Long, the officers put the bike in a police van and were seen to take the man away as well, but, as of press time, there was no official information released regarding this situation.