Lou Catelli got his wheels back today.
Catelli (real name Will Bauer), known more popularly as the “mayor” or “patron saint” of North Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood, had been patiently awaiting the return of one of his tricycles for nearly three weeks after it was stolen from outside the Hampden Family Center. Surveillance footage showed a utility vest-clad thief using a pair of bolt cutters to steal the locked-up vehicle in the wee hours of Sunday, May 28.
He spent the last couple weeks trying to track down the one-of-a-kind vehicle with help from friends and police around the city. Today, Northern District Police Maj. Rich Gibson ceremoniously announced online that police had finally located it.
In a Facebook Live video, Gibson and two of his comrades rode the trike down W. 36th Street (also called “The Avenue”) to the corner of Hickory Avenue. Catelli said they had pre-arranged a drop-off at the intersection.
“My man!” Gibson shouted pulling up to the intersection.
“Look at that!” responded a triumphant Catelli, doling out handshakes and hugs to officers before climbing on and riding off toward Falls Road.
The vehicle is no ordinary tricycle, Catelli previously told Baltimore Fishbowl.
“It’s from the old Sparrows Point steel mill. They don’t make ’em like this anymore,” he said. “It’s a treasure to me, and somebody else is not gonna appreciate it.”
Asked for an update last week, Catelli said he’d been working with authorities and learned they had identified a suspect and made contact with one of his acquaintances. Rather than wanting the perpetrator to be punished, Catelli fielded the idea of hiring him to work as a valet to bring people up and down The Avenue, so long as he would agree to bring the trike back. He noted it’s no easy labor to pedal a three-wheeled tricycle around, let alone all the way from Hampden to Mondawmin, where it was spotted days after it went missing.
In a Facebook message today, Catelli said police had arranged for the suspect to turn the tricycle in.
“Most importantly, it is in great shape,” he said, adding, “I want to hire the kid to operate at pedicab service in Hampden!”
A police department spokesperson said they will provide additional details once they become available.
This story will be updated.
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