Police track down suspect after bike stolen from man with Parkinson's disease

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SAN DIEGO — Just a few days after a man diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease reported his brand new bike stolen, police were able to track down the thief.

“You just feel so violated when someone decides to think they could just take whatever they want,” said Bill Pitcher.

Pitcher’s brand new bike was stolen off his driveway Tuesday just minutes after riding it for the first time. It was a particularly special bike for Pitcher, who was an avid cyclist until he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The electric bike had enhanced features to help with stability.

Days later, he got some good news.

A bike similar to the one stolen from Bill Pitcher.

“It was just phenomenal that something could be resolved so quickly because it doesn’t usually happen that fast,” said Moana Pitcher, Bill’s wife.

Police told the Pitchers they tracked down the man believed to be responsible for the theft after linking him to a different theft. He was identified as 39-year-old Christopher Beck, who also happens to live in the same neighborhood.

“In the whole scheme of San Diego, of crimes and everything, for them to take that and find them so quickly and get a confession from him is amazing,” Bill said.

Unfortunately, police couldn’t get the bike back, because Beck reportedly admitted to selling it shortly after the theft. The bike originally cost close to $2,000.

“It was sold for roughly $600 so, sometimes if a deal is too good it’s probably too good for a reason,” said Sgt. Matthew Botkin with the San Diego Police Department.

An electric bike discovered at the suspect’s home.

Almost as swiftly as police cracked the case, the community quickly rallied around Pitcher and started a fundraiser. He says within hours there was enough money to buy a new bike for himself.

Police are still hoping to get Pitcher’s original bike back and get in touch with the owner of a second electric bike recovered at the suspect’s house.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the stolen bike is asked to contact Detective Kate Allison with the San Diego Police Department at 858-538-8048.

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