Thief caught on camera stealing bikes from southeast Roanoker who gives to those in need

By Shayne Dwyer - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Cheap security cameras are worth the money, and this is another perfect example.

A man was caught taking bikes that are not his, and when his face got blasted all over Facebook, lots of other people came out and said he's stolen from them, too.

The video is in black and white, but make no mistake, this was broad daylight. While everyone else is at work earning their take, this man was eyeing two bikes to take.

"One of them was, I remember riding as a kid when I was 11 years old," said Stephen Ambruzs. "It was my dad's first real road bike, so he rode that thing from New Jersey to Virginia and definitely used it as an inspiration to me to get into cycling."

It was that inspiration that led Ambruzs around the world and eventually right to Roanoke. He started Downshift Bikes and Brews two years ago.

10 News has done news stories before about how part of his business is giving bikes away to people who can't afford them.

"It's sort of frustrating," said Ambruzs. "Downshift definitely works hard to provide bikes to people in need. The gentleman in the video didn't necessarily need one and probably didn't but chose to take them anyways."

The bikes were locked up under his backyard deck. The thief went through a fence to get them and was gone within minutes. 

Once the video hit Facebook, tons of neighbors posted saying the man stole from them too.

"People steal stuff for a lot of different reasons, and you don't know what's going on with individuals, and it would be wrong to pass judgment on this," said Ambruzs. 

Ambruzs still maintains his giving heart, though, even if he doesn't get the bikes back. He hasn't given up on his Southeast neighborhood, either, somewhere that many people have long written off.

"You want to trust the people that you live around, and it was more like, 'That sucks what can we do to make this not happen? What can we do to improve the situation that we live in?'" said Ambruzs. 

Police continue their investigation into this matter. There's not a whole lot else they can say right now, but there are a lot of people out there hoping someone recognizes the thief and turns him in.

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