Caught The Next Day

    A bicycle thief was caught red-handed on Friday by the bike’s owner, who had discovered her red Cannondale M300 mountain bike missing from a shed at her 12th Street house, off Gardiner Avenue in Springs, the day before.

    East Hampton Town police checked the neighborhood but came up empty-handed. The next morning, however, the owner called police, saying she had spotted the bike while driving on Springs-Fireplace Road, being ridden by a Springs youth. The bike had been spray-painted blue, but the owner could identify it, despite the paint job, by its unusual upward-curving handlebars.

    The woman asked the youth several times to stop, which he finally did, as her husband drove up. They were able to peel the paint off, the woman told police, with a fingernail.

    The rider, a 17-year-old, was arrested and charged with petty larceny and criminal mischief. He was released to the custody of an aunt, who came to the stationhouse to pick him up. Police did not release the identity of either the victim or the thief.