JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Neighbors suspicious about the thefts of dozens of bicycles near the Mayport area decided to take matters into their own hands.
After catching the supposed thief in the act, they decided to follow him. The makeshift pursuit came to an end when they found a cache of what they believe to be thousands of dollars of stolen goods.
One of the witnesses, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the startling discovery was made sometime Monday morning at a lot situated off Mayport Road near Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.
“I saw a guy on a bike carrying a bike and I told him to pull over and drop the bike,” the witness told News4Jax. “And two people pulled up next to me and say that they watched him steal the bike.”
Once he followed the man, the witness said he arrived at the lot where he found tents, roughly 200 stolen bicycles, as well as a variety of lawn equipment that he also suspects was stolen.
Afterward, he said, he followed the thief to at least four other lots in the area. In each case, the result was the same—more stolen belongings stashed away, including the lights to his boat.
He said he contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office about his findings and was told that the agency has a specialized unit that focuses on blight and neighborhood crime.
Now, he’s speaking out in the hopes that the community will take his advice to heart: “Do the right thing. If you see something, say something. Stop people if you think they’re doing the wrong thing.”