I received a phone call at the shop this morning and the caller asked if we bought bikes. We always encourage the person to bring the bicycle in so we can take a look at it. The caller said, "It has Velocity Deep-V wheels and a Tektro brake. I think it's a racing bike." Knowing that most bicycles in Memphis don't have Deep-V's I said, "Go ahead and bring it in; I'd love to take a look at it." After getting off the phone with the caller I sent out a mass text asking about it. Everyone had no idea but Alona replied that Ken's bike had been stolen a while ago. I got Ken's number and called him forewarning that there might be the possibility of recovering his bike. I knew exactly what it looked like because we had built it.
At about 10:45 a guy comes in with Ken's bike. I tell him that I'm going to put it in the stand and check it out and he has a seat on the couch. Hal calls the police and Ken. The police show up in about 10 minutes and ask the guy to stand up and turn around. He shoots me this dumbfounded look as the handcuffs are going on to which I reply simply, "That bike was stolen." He then said that he bought the bike this morning and that he was "just trying to get some extra money for his momma." His mother was actually out in the car and at his request the police went and got her. The verbal melee then ensued: Oh Lord Jesus my baby wouldn't do this countered with he's in posession of stolen property's for about 15 minutes that unfortunately I didn't get to witness firsthand as I was helping another customer.
Ken had also come in to identify the bike and was giddy just to get his ride back. I can't begin to imagine what he was thinking about the situation. As for me, I rode that high of busting a bicycle thief for the rest of the day.
UPDATE: The Commercial Appeal caught wind of this and published a story, along with a nice photo of Ken and his bike.
Photo by Nikki Boertman for the Commercial Appeal