Contact 17: Bike theft caught on camera

A family in northwest Bakersfield says they caught a man on camera, stealing their 8-year-old son's bike. Aaron Blinn says 24 hours later, police still haven't returned his call.

A family in northwest Bakersfield is on edge after, they say, they caught a man on camera, stealing their 8-year-old son's bike.

Aaron Blinn says his son's bike was stolen two houses down from where they live, while children from the neighborhood played nearby.

Blinn says he's frustrated because 24 hours after it happened, police haven't done anything.

Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday, a man driving a dark PT Cruiser, parked in front of a house, slowly got out and walked up to a driveway. He then grabbed the bike and put it in the car.

Neighbors say the man stole the bike while kids played a few houses down. "They thought somebody was coming to visit," said Blinn. "They were looking down there and watched it happen, all the kids and adults."

Blinn says the bike belonged to his 8-year-old son, who left it in the driveway.

"Just think if somebody were to come in the neighborhood with all of our kids around and it wasn't a bike that they grabbed, say it was one of the kids," said Blinn. "Then it goes from taking a cheap bike to taking one of our kids, then what do we do now?"

Blinn says he called police to file a report, but no one has called him back.

Sgt. Joe Grubbs with the Bakersfield Police Department says with the shortage of staff, the department can't return all calls, but will collect all necessary evidence in the case.

"If there's no suspect information, there's no evidence at the crime scene, there's no footprints on the door, no fingerprints -- nothing we can work, then those cases are going to get put aside," said Sgt. Grubbs. "The ones that have good evidence, those are the ones we are going to go after and try to solve and get somebody in custody."

"When we have people running around in our backyard or people breaking into our houses and our vehicles and stealing stuff off our streets in front of us, you can't even feel safe," said Blinn.

Police say when you file a report and you have physical evidence, make sure you include that in your report. Sgt. Grubbs says many people don't and their case ends up closed.

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