A WANTED thief was caught red-handed yesterday after giving the cops a thumbs up soon after he allegedly stole a mountain bike from a townhouse complex in South End, Port Elizabeth.
And once caught, the cheery suspect claimed he had found the R4 000 bicycle in the bushes – despite the fact that there were none in the area.
It was just after midday that the hapless 49-year-old from Kleinskool, who cannot be named until he appears in court, was seen by members of the Flying Squad as he was walking down Walmer Boulevard with the bicycle.
Police spokesman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the man threw the bike down an embankment onto the pavement below a townhouse complex.
“He then jumped down and picked it up. The Flying Squad officers were obviously suspicious, but when the man saw them he gave them a thumbs up.”
She said the officers replied with a thumbs up, drove to the intersection and turned, prompting the man to run to the opposite side of the road with the bike while constantly looking over his shoulder.
The suspect is believed to be linked to other burglaries in the South End and Humewood vicinity.
Janse van Rensburg said two mountain bikes had been reported stolen in the South End area last week.
“We suspect the owner of the bike is at work and will open a case of theft or burglary once he gets home,” she said.
The man is due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court today.