Councilman Witnesses Crime, Takes Action

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CLEVELAND -- Councilman turned crime fighter.

Ward 15 Cleveland councilman Matt Zone jumped into action when he witnessed a crime as it was happening.

A 53-year-old man was arrested, and Cleveland police are looking for his 27-year-old son.  Detectives believe the two stole a bicycle and gardening tool from an open garage.

"It has 27 gears, I believe, and it has gears in the front and gears in the back, and it's very shiny, the color's very green, which I love," explained the bicycle's owner, Alfredo Myers, 20.

He uses it to get around town to do landscaping work.

"Basically, my bike is my transportation, it saves me for gas instead of my parents driving me... I just ride my bike to work basically," Myers said.

"We like to tell people, 'if you see something, say something,'" said Zone.

Around 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Zone saw suspicious activity as he was driving in the Gordon Square District on Cleveland's near west side.

He saw a man leaving an open garage on a bicycle.  Myers would later tell police he left the garage open as he took his dog for a short walk.

"He had another bike that he was holding in his hand, and then I saw another, like a moment later, another young person behind him, who was carrying a weed wacker," explained Zone.

The councilman followed the men in his car.

"I was able to ride up alongside both suspects.  I took a picture with my camera phone, and then I just drove away and then they thought I had left," said Zone.

Councilman Zone sent the pictures to the second district commander, who sent detectives to the area.

"They started working on the case, showed some people the pictures, they identified the guy and after weeding out a couple addresses, they tracked him down, recovered all the stolen good and arrested the male," said second district commander Keith Sulzer.

"It was a true community effort," said Zone.

Commander Sulzer presented Matt Zone with two commendation coins for his actions.  Myers is giving his councilman a lot of thanks and praise.

"When I got it back, I just wanted to hug Matt Zone, but I didn't think it was appropriate, so I didn't," said Myers before breaking out into laughter.

Commander Sulzer said Matt Zone did everything right.  He called the police when he saw something suspicious, he stayed a safe distance away while he followed the suspects and managed to take pictures of them in action.

The commander also reminded people that no matter how long you plan to be gone from home, never leave your garage door open or doors unlocked.

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