LAPD seek man "with a torn shirt, a possibly sprained ankle, as well as road rash."...

Two Los Angeles bike couriers turned Good Samaritan on Monday when they pursued a bike thief for five blocks and knocked him off the bike, causing him to flee.

 The LAPD is now searching for the miscreant, whom it describes as “a 30-year-old man with a torn shirt, a possibly sprained ankle, as well as road rash."

The bike’s owner, 43-year-old Jesus Tobar, had been exercising at the 24-hour-fitness gym in downtown LA when he discovered that his Iron Horse Desperado mountain bike had disappeared, and went back to the gym to see if the perpetrator had been caught on CCTV.

But two of LA’s finest – in this case, couriers, not police – had witnessed the theft, and were already on the case, chasing the thief through busy streets and across pavements until one caught him and pulled him to the ground by dragging his shirt. The man then fled, enabling the couriers to recover the bike.

Commander Andrew Smith of the LAPD was quoted on the website LA Now as saying: "This was a wild, high-speed bicycle chase through crowded streets of the Jewelry Mart."

As reported earlier this month on road.cc, bike theft is becoming increasingly prevalent in the city, with cyclists starting to administer their own form of street justice when suspected thieves are caught – recently, two were relieved of their clothes, backpacks and mobile phones, and left to find their way home dressed only in their boxer shorts.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.