Blind Belleville man credits bus driver for stopping Christmas crook

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) – A Good Samaritan steps in to help a stranger after a thief steals from a blind man who had just stepped off a public bus.

It happened Thursday morning outside Michael Heuer's home on South 17th Street in Belleville. While waiting for an ATS Transit bus to arrive, Heuer put his duffle bag and cane down, and walked back in the house to get something. Heuer does not see well. In fact, he says he is legally blind.

"I came outside as the bus was pulling up," said Heuer, "and noticed that my duffle bag and cane were missing. I asked the bus driver, Eric Harris, if he had put it on the bus for me. He said no, but he saw an individual walking down the street with it.”

Heuer said his ATS Transit bus driver witnessed what had happened, called Belleville police, and helped officers locate the thief.

"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have had anything recovered," Heuer said. "I mean, when it comes to people looking out for other people, he went way above and beyond. I just hope he gets recognized."

Heuer said once police located the man who matched the description provided by Harris, they offered Heuer an opportunity to press charges. He declined.

"Being Christmas Eve, I wasn't going to press charges," Heuer said. "Hopefully, the man learned his lesson."

So why not press charges?

"I'm just not that kind of guy," Heuer said. "I rely a lot on other people, and they go way out of their way to help me. So I figured it being Christmas, hopefully he learned his lesson."