Teen accused of attacking 80-year-old bike shop owner

GALESBURG, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Police continue their search for a teenager they say attacked and stole cash from the 79-year-old owner of a bike shop in Galesburg.

The attack happened last week.

On Friday that bike shop owner, Billy Gillespie, spoke with Newschannel 3 about what happened.

"I don't like a liar and I don't like a thief, but I've helped a bunch of them," Gillespie said.

Gillespie is well known for his customer service. he's run a bike shop, Billy's Bikes, in Galesburg for decades. Last week, for the first time ever, he says he got attacked by someone he once repaired a bike for.

"He got my bag and ran off like a scared dog," Gillespie said.

The incident happened after dark as Gillespie was closing up his shop.

"I walked out and I walked to the car and I saw a guy sitting on the bench chair. I should have been paying attention ok, but I wasn't. And from now on I will," he said.

Police are searching for an 18-year-old person of interest in this case, who got away with several hundred dollars. Officers from Galesburg and Augusta as well as Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Deputies patrolled parts of Galesburg on Friday. They have not yet released the name or photo of a suspect and said it's possible he fled the state.

Gillespie said he reacted immediately after being attacked.

"I started to go after him. Five years ago I could have run him down, but I've gotten older because of laziness and because of age too probably a little bit," he said.

For now, he remains focused on moving forward and doing what he loves best: helping people.

"Myself I step back and let the police do their job," Gillespie said.

If you have any information about this case you're asked to call Galesburg Police or the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office.

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