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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An alleged thief who tried to run away from trouble picked the wrong trail as a University of Pennsylvania running club is being credited with helping nab a suspect. Several members of the Annenberg Running group took off after the man after realizing something was wrong.
None of the running group’s members thought when they laced up their shoes that they would help apprehend a criminal.
The club meets three times a week for a run around campus.
On Jan. 9, they were circled up and stretching in preparation for just another job when a man sprinted through their group.
“You rarely see someone running across campus,” said Samantha Oliver. “No one wants to get to class that badly.”
“We remarked at how fast he was when another man walked up and said, ‘Help, he robbed me,'” said Kyle Cassidy. “We looked at each other and said if we were out on this earth for anything, it’s this moment right here.”
Four club members followed 26-year-old Talib Adams through campus and into an active construction zone on 37th and Chestnut Streets.
“Machinery pouring dirt and concrete and a worker yelling, ‘You can’t go in there. It’s a construction site,'” said Cassidy.
Natalie Herbert thought, if she was being chased, where would she dump the stolen goods? She guessed correctly as they were found in the back of a university building.
“I realized when I knocked on the door, I introduced myself in a weird way,” explained Herbert. “I said, ‘Hi, I’m Natalie from the running club. We’re in pursuit of a potential criminal and we think he dumped your stuff on the backyard.'”
Workers at the construction zone called police as the club and authorities closed in.
This incident gave these runners a different sort of high.
“This is not something we felt at the time was a great idea to do, but at the end of the day, it was something we were able to help put a little bit,” said Oliver.
Adams was arrested for allegedly stealing a laptop and cellphone.
Cassidy tore his calf during the chase, but that didn’t stop him from running four miles the other day.