AURORA, Colo. — Last week, employees at Stanley Marketplace apprehended a 27-year-old man accused of stealing a bicycle. Turns out, he had been wanted by the Aurora Police Department for months for his alleged involvement in more than 100 bike thefts.
Rayme Rossello, the owner of Comida, a Mexican restaurant, says she ran after the man, identified by police as Alec Jackson, after an employee of hers caught him stealing a bicycle.
"As recent as like four days before that, two of our employees had their bikes stolen, so it was top of mind for everybody," she said Friday.
As Rossello chased Jackson, he struggled to get on the bike and started leaving critical evidence behind.
"He sort of turned and twisted a little bit, dropped his backpack, dropped the bolt cutters, which I picked both of them up and said, "What are you going to do now? I've got your backpack,"" she recalled.
That's when several other people were able to grab Jackson and throw him to the ground. They kept him there until security and police arrived.
Last Thur., the suspect tried to victimize again, but wasn't expecting was the quick response of our community. Thanks to our community members who courageously & safely held the suspect, Alec Jackson, until our officers could arrive. Alec was arrested for a warrant & larceny. pic.twitter.com/WUccCVEh7E— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) May 13, 2022
"It takes a village. It wasn't just one person that made it happen, it was all of us," Rossello said.
She would later learn he wasn't wanted for stealing just one bike. Aurora police believe he may be responsible for the theft of more than 100 bikes in the Aurora/Denver area.
"He's usually pretty quick. He usually goes and carries bolt cutters, cuts the lock, and he's on a bike and he's gone quickly," Agent Matthew Longshore said.
Jackson was known to police for months, Longshore says, but they were unable to identify him. Coincidentally, APD planned to release surveillance photos of Jackson hours before the arrest. Longshore is just thankful Jackson's been caught, regardless of how it happened.
"We're very thankful for these community members that saw this happening, were able to chase this guy down and safely hold him until we were able to quickly get there," Longshore said. "We want to make sure this person is held responsible for his actions."
Jackson is facing a charge of larceny, but that could change as the investigation is still open and detectives are working to connect with other cases. He had an outstanding warrant out of Jefferson County for trespassing. As of Friday afternoon, he remained in the Adams County Jail.