St. Charles restauranteur asks for help after thief steals employee’s bicycle

ST. CHARLES, Mo – A bicycle bandit was on the loose Friday night.

He pedaled off without paying, but that's because someone at a St. Charles restaurant paid for his meal first.

“It makes you angry; it really does,” said Craig Uttendorf, owner of Gingham’s Homestyle Restaurant.

“He kind of hung around the back of our restaurant and then stole our morning dishwasher’s bike.”

Uttendorf said that just before the alleged thief made off with the bicycle, one of his regular customers had paid for his meal.

“After an act of kindness, like this gentleman picking up your check, and then you turn around and do something like that, it's not right,” he said.

The stolen bike belonged to Salvador Ramirez, which he saved up for and purchased just last month.

“He works six days a week,” Uttendorf said. “He's here rain, shine, snow, extreme heat, extreme cold, and that's his form of transportation. That's how he gets back to work and home every day."

Uttendorf said he wasn't just about to sit back and let the bike bandit get away. He took still shots from his surveillance cameras and plastered them all over the restaurant's Facebook page.

“The response we got was tremendous,” he said. “I mean, so many people wanting to donate a bike, buy a new bike. He may have a bike for every day of the week by the time it's all said and done, with all the offers that we've had."

Uttendorf said that regardless of the community outpour, he hopes the images will help police capture him sooner than later.

“He works his tail off, he really does,” he said. “He doesn't deserve what happened.”