STOCKTON (CBS13) – A good Samaritan nabbed a bike bandit and still managed to return it back to the owner. He’s now gaining praise from the community.

Working in front of stores across town, Robert Darling and his wife have seen many people taking what’s not theirs.

“I get sick of it. I get sick of seeing these people come out so sad that their bike is gone,” said Darling, a father of two.

Within minutes of walking into the store, the suspects can pop the lock and take off with the bike. But Darling said not this time.

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He recently followed a suspected bike thief across town while on the phone with police and waited for the right time to pump his brakes.

“I grabbed the bike and told him, you’re not going anywhere with this. I watched you steal this bike. This bike does not belong to you. You can either leave the bike or you are going to get arrested,” Darling said.

Tony Edwards saw it all go down and was shocked to see someone step up.

“He chased him down and was able to get the bike back,” Edwards said.

Unfortunately, they say the bigger problem is that it never stops.

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“I see it happen a lot. It happened to one of my friends here at the 99 Cent Store,” Edwards said.

“With the guy that stole the bike, he’s out the very next day. So something has got to be done,” Darling said.

It’s precisely why Darling makes it a daily goal to fight crime where police can’t — and returning the bike was worth it all.

“He gave me a hug and he was very thankful and it really made me feel good,” he said.

Friends and family tout Robert as the Stockton Batman.

“I’m not into the whole costume-type thing,” he chuckled.

Darling said he’s just doing what we all should.

“People need to do something about it and not be scared and be brave,” he added.

He hopes to make Stockton a safer place for his kids.


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