Stolen bike vigilante hits Chico

May 7, 2014 7:11 PM

For the past 30 years, Steve O'Bryan has helped fix bikes. Now he's helping get stolen bikes back to their rightful owners.

“We are not happy about how many bikes are being stolen in town,” he said. “So we've taken it upon ourselves to try to get them back.”

And for O'Bryan that means hitting the streets of Chico and confronting bike thieves face-to-face.

“I usually come up to them and try to be friendly,” he said. “I recognize that they’re on a stolen bike and I recognize they probably don’t want the hassle of dealing with the cops.”

O'Bryan owns Pullins Cyclery, where victims of bike theft often come to post pictures of their stolen bikes. And so far, O'Bryan has a pretty good success rate of getting them back.

“I’ve probably gotten six to 10 bikes back this year,” he said. “And I’ve really lost track of how many we’ve retrieved in the last few years.”

Chico police said what O'Bryan is doing is not illegal but it is very dangerous. They added that if you see a stolen bike, call them and they'll handle it.


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