Alan Schaub told Pasco County Sheriff's deputies that he awoke early Sunday morning just in time to foil a would-be thief rifling through his van.
The hapless thief didn't get away with any of Schaub's property, but he left behind some valuable property of his own: his bicycle.
Now, the bicycle sits securely in the Land O'Lakes Community Center on U.S. 41, and deputies are looking for the foiled thief, described as a young male, possibly 15 to 16 years old, about 5 feet 6 and 130 pounds, with short, straight brown hair.
He was wearing a dark T-shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, according to a report by Pasco Deputy Timothy Ball.
According to Ball's report, Schaub, 46, heard a noise at 5 a.m. outside his Paradise Lakes home on Brinson Road.
He said he walked to his front window, saw that the interior of his blue, 1985 Ford van was lit and saw a chrome-finished bicycle on the ground.
Schaub walked outside and discovered the youth inside his van. He said he ordered the boy out of the van and told him to sit in a chair in the front yard while he called the authorities.
When Schaub asked for the youth's name, he said it was Brian.
After a few minutes, the boy ran off, with Schaub right behind him. The bicycle was left behind.
The youth met up with another boy who was riding a bicycle, Schaub said. The pair took off for the southern gate of Paradise Lakes, with Schaub still chasing them. Schaub broke off the chase when the two boys got past the gate.
The van was not damaged and nothing was missing, the report said.
Deputies searched the area but did not find the two youths. The search is continuing.