Frustrated with the high volume of bike thefts in New Orleans, bicycle riders decided to take matters into their own hands. They set up a Facebook group called Stolen Bikes NOLA and set up a stakeout to catch a man known as Track Suit who had been observed stealing bikes.
An ex-bounty hunter from Alabama used his stakeout skills to set up surveillance on one of the prime suspects in NOLA bike thefts. Ronald Gray was accustomed to stakeouts from years of working as a bounty hunter in Alabama and NOLA and set up a type of surveillance known as front and follow.
Fellow friends from the Facebook group took turns trailing the man known as Track Suit. By keeping fresh faces around him, they were able to keep him from realizing that he was being tracked as he stole bikes and subsequently sold them. As he walked, Track Suit put on a wig and a hat.
The surveillance team contacted police as they monitored the man who turned out to be 27-year old James Wells. Police arrested Wells and charged him with possessing burglar’s tools, although he could face additional charges as police investigate his role in rampant bike thefts in NOLA.
The help of this professional bounty hunter made the difference in being able to apprehend a serial bike thief, but the New Orleans Police Department cautions against the public taking matters into their own hands. However, with bike theft rampant in NOLA, hardcore bicyclists are likely to continue their efforts to track down such thieves.