This is the short version of a long but interesting story. While working on the in-floor heat for the mudroom during the later stages of the remodeling project. I forgot to lock the recently installed rear door to the house. I realize my mistake halfway through applying the scratch coat of thin-set mortar over the heating cables. I told my wife about this too. Neither of us thought it would be a big deal since our house had been with out a rear door for 2 months. The risk of not having a secure door for one more night seemed small.
During night our dog, Henry, started barking, which woke us half up. This is some what of a regular event. Henry doesn't like anyone outside to make noise after he goes to sleep. Hannah told him to "shut up," and he was quiet for 5 more seconds. Then, he got really mean. At this point, I got out of bed and found Henry ready "rip sh!t up" at the top of the stairs. Henry usually sleeps on the main floor, but tonight he was barricaded on the 2nd floor because we sealed tile in the basement. When I removed the barricade, Henry tore down the stairs and toward the back of the house. I knew someone had definitely been in the house because the lights were on and the drywall fence to keep people from stepping the fresh mortar was moved aside. The back door was also left cracked open.
Our house was a mess from all the construction, so I couldn't really tell if anything had been stolen. As I was looking a round, I noticed the backyard gate was crack open. Just then, I noticed the motion light by the garage door light up and face pop out the door. As quick as I could, I threw on my snow pants, jacket, and boots and ran out the back door to the garage into the frigid winter air. I noticed one the bikes was gone from the garage stalls. I was sure the burglar would be long gone by now. He had been chased out the house by our dog and was now on a bike. However, I look down the alley he was leisurely riding East as if everything was cool. I took off sprint down the alley and caught up the guy about 200 yard way. As I was chasing him, I was sure he would hear me coming. My heavy breathing, puffy coat, boots, or crunch of the snow would alert him. Regardless, he didn't know I was there until I hit him with a flying tackle.
The one thought I had as my shoulder hit his rib cage was, "this better be my bike." Fortunately, it was my bike and this wasn't just an early morning commuter. Surprised, he yelled some obscenities at me and I yelled some back after grabbing my bike. He made excuses for why he was riding my bike and scattered to the other side of the street. There is a little more to the story, but to sum it up. He ran off, and I returned to the house with my bike. The cops caught him 20 minutes later. The Saint Paul Police were awesome.
The other funny side story is about 2 weeks earlier I told Hannah, "that if anyone took our bikes I just run them down and tackle them."