A Phoenix man says a bike thief is on the loose and his neighborhood is a target.
Napoleon Smith III’s one-of-a-kind bicycle was stolen not once, but twice, in the last two months.
He got it back the first time by doing some detective work of his own and found it for sale on the app OfferUp.
He arranged a meeting with the seller and with the help of police was able to get the bike back.
Then, a couple weeks later, Smith rode his bike to a nearby movie theater.
“I locked up my bike thinking it would be safe and when I came back out it was gone,” Smith said.
He’s not alone. Several of his neighbors are also victims. One suggested he check out the pawn shop near Central and Indian School.
“In the two days I’ve been reaching out, two other people have told me their bikes were there too,” he said.
Smith found his bike there, but when he tried to get it back, the manager refused.
“I showed them the pictures and had the images and everything,” he said. “I asked them what I needed to do to get my bike back had my vin numbers and everything.”
We checked in with managers at the pawn shop and they told ABC15 Smith would need a police report. Even still, it could take up to a year for him to get his property back.
Smith filed a report with Phoenix Police but said his biggest concern now isn’t for his bike, but for his neighborhood.
“This a great, safe neighborhood and we’re having an issue with transients coming through on the light rail and stealing things,” he said. “And now pawning things.”