Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Don’t mess with Marty!

IT'S a Cinderella story complete with a knight in a pickup truck, except Marty Halprin isn't looking for the owner of a lost shoe.

Instead, the jewelry store owner is looking for the Winnipeg woman with the key that fits the lock on a turquoise Peugeot bike he rescued from a thief Friday morning.

The Celia's Jewellery owner was in his truck at the corner of Smith Street and York Avenue about 11 a.m. when he saw a man about 30 years old knock over a steel pole on the north side of York. The thief then dragged away a 10-speed bike that had been chained to the pole.

That's when Halprin pulled up alongside.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Halprin, 59, an avid biker who's cycled for over four decades and isn't shy about calling himself a rabble-rouser.

The man dropped the bike and took off on foot after Halprin gestured he was going to get out his truck.

"I guess he didn't want to get involved with me and he was having trouble with the bike, so he just left," he said.

Halprin then put the bike in the back of his truck and took it home for safekeeping.

"Whoever (the bike owner) is obviously had to walk home from wherever she worked. I'd sure like to meet her, find her, and give her her bike back."

The Peugeot's about 20 to 25 years old and still has a cable locking its front wheel and frame together. Its fender was twisted like "spaghetti" after the attempted theft.

"He just figured that (he had) every right to take this bike," he said.

He's confident he'll know he has the rightful owner when he finds the woman whose key fits into the lock.

A sign Halprin put near the intersection with his name and number -- as well as information about the theft -- has so far gone unanswered.

Halprin said he's shocked the thief tried such a brazen theft in the middle of busy downtown, and that people nearby didn't intervene.

"I know how sick it feels to go to where your bike was and it's gone," he said. "It's a sick feeling."

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