Bear Spray Helps Catch 'Bicycle Bandit' in San Francisco

Neighbors say it was a brave move, but police are not encouraging people to confront criminal suspects, even if they are armed with toxic spray

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A frusrated woman in San Francisco sprayed a "Bicycle Bandit" in San Francisco with bear spray, which helped lead to the arrest of Andy Anduha. Jean Elle reports. (Published Thursday, Nov 29, 2012)

    eighbors in Noe Valley say a suspect has been snagging packages off front porches for months.

    They have they called police, confronted him on porches and snapped pictures of the man they call the "Bicycle Bandit."

     But so far, police had not been able to make an arrest.

    Not until one fed up victim decided to take a different kind of action. The woman, who doesn't want to be identified, set up a camera and kept bear spray at the ready.

    On Tuesday, her camera captured the suspect opening her gate and taking a package. The video also shows the woman chasing the suspect. She tweeted out to followers that she nabbed him with bear spray. He ran away, but was in a lot of pain. She was able to catch up with him and make a citizen's arrest until police came.

    The man now charged with the thefts: 51-year-old Andy Anduha, who now faces up to six years in prison if convicted of all counts.

     Neighbors say it was a brave move, but police are not encouraging people to confront criminal suspects, even if they are armed with toxic spray.