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Expensive mountain bike stolen off BC Transit bus recovered after downtown chase

Pricey bike stolen off bus

A Kamloops couple says it’s "a miracle" their son’s valuable mountain bike was recovered after a man brazenly stole it from the front of a BC Transit bus.

Chris Gienow said his 16-year-old son was taking the bus home on Saturday night at about 9:30 p.m. when his bike was stolen.

As the bus pulled over to let passengers on and off at a busy McGill Road stop near Columbia Street, Gienow said a man slipped out the front door and grabbed the bicycle off the rack on the front of the bus, in full view of his son and the bus driver.

Meanwhile, Gienow and his wife were at a brewery downtown.

“I got a call from [my son] in an absolute lather,” Gienow said.

“We grabbed our stuff, we went running out to our vehicle. All we got out of him was that his bike had been stolen off the front of the bus at a stop. The bus driver was honking at the guy, the guy got the bike off the bus and took off.”

Gienow said he figured the thief might be cruising from Sahali down the hill toward downtown.

Gienow and his wife passed by the RCMP detachment at Sixth and Battle, where he said he spoke with two officers about the situation.

Gienow and his wife then left the detachment in their vehicle. Moments later, he spotted a man riding his son’s bike near Third Avenue and St. Paul Street.

“He was riding down the middle of the right lane and we kind of pulled up to him and he swerved to hit us, and we knew it was the bike immediately,” Gienow said.

He said he stopped the vehicle and his wife opened the door, inadvertently hitting the bike's spokes as the man was attempting to get away.

According to Gienow, his wife chased the man — still riding the bike — for a block and a half, but eventually lost sight of him.

Gienow and his wife say what happened next was "a miracle.”

One of Gienow's co-workers happened to be walking downtown near Gaglardi Square when she spotted someone who appeared to be in distress.

“She went over to ask if he was okay, and he was very belligerent and rude to her," he said.

"And she looked in the bushes and saw this really expensive mountain bike stashed in the bush. And she went, ‘Nope, that’s not yours.’ She grabbed it and took off.”

He said she took the bike home, where she made a post on a Facebook group to ask if anyone had lost that bike.

Gienow, who also posted online to ask if anyone had seen the bicycle, connected with her through the Facebook page.

“The girl that I worked with a couple doors down goes, ‘Is this your bike?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes’ — she found it 15 minutes after was stolen, in the bushes,” he said.

Kamloops Mounties confirmed they received a report of a bike stolen from a bus on Saturday at about 9:40 p.m., and a description of the suspect and the bike were provided to investigators.

Gienow said his son, who is on the autism spectrum, rides his bike every day — no matter the weather. Although the bike has been recovered, he said he thinks his son will carry the experience with him for a long time.

“This will impact him for the rest of his life," he said.

"This will stick with him and affect him forever. His mistrust of people is low enough as it is."

Gienow said he and his wife wanted to share their story to let others know that such brazen thefts do take place — especially for those putting expensive bikes on the front of a city bus.

“We've seen the comments, where other people have said that this doesn't sound like it's a one-off or the first time — this sounds like it's happened before,” he said.

“What one person did mention online is that they lock their tire to their frame — so somebody can't get on the bike and ride away with it, they have to carry it.”

A spokesperson for BC Transit said in a statement they are aware that a bike was recently stolen off the front of a bus in Kamloops.

“BC Transit is supporting the police investigation into this matter, which will include supplying the RCMP with CCTV footage from the bus in question,” the spokesperson said.

According to BC Transit, instances of bike theft on busses are “quite rare.”

“Like all personal belongings, bikes are the responsibility of the customer,” the statement said.

Police said they are still looking for a suspect.



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