A mountain bike was stolen from a parking garage in downtown Madison on Sunday, and the theft was caught on surveillance video.
By Thursday morning, hundreds of people had already watched the surveillance video John Kincaid posted after his stepson's bike was stolen around 11 a.m. Sunday from a parking garage at 10 E. Doty St.
After reporting the incident to Madison police, Kincaid channeled his frustration into action and uploaded the video to several websites, including YouTube. Using his knowledge of computer software, he managed to figure out the man in the video is around 5 feet 9 inches tall.
"I challenge anybody to look at that video and not get really frustrated with somebody just walking off with a $500 bike," Kincaid said. "I kind of want the other people who park here to see this video, too, because he was scoping out which had the weakest lock and I guess we won."
Madison police said they don't have the resources to constantly monitor websites for stolen items, so it's helpful when a victim can provide them with information.
"We want to be involved not only for your safety, but we want to find justice for the stolen bike," said Madison Police Lt. Dave McCaw.
McCaw said police will work any leads they receive. He said the department has also sent plainclothes police officers to assist in recovering stolen items.
While police appreciate the information, they don't want people to be victimized again, so they urged citizens not to confront a suspect on their own.
McCaw said he's optimistic about Kincaid's case.
"Hopefully someone does come forward with the information this guy shared, and says, 'I know who this person is,' and we can move forward," McCaw said.
Kincaid has purchased new locks for his other bikes. He said he hopes someone will recognize the man in the video.
"This is the best option I have," Kincaid said. "There are a lot of people online in downtown Madison. We're getting a lot of views of the video online and Craigslist. I really just want the bike back. This person can't just walk off with a bike."
Kincaid is offering a reward that leads to the identity of the person on the video or for the bike's safe return.
Madison police also recommend that people register their bikes, so if police find a stolen bike the owner can prove it's his or hers.