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Thief gets caught trying to outrun university cross-country team

Members of the University of Arizona cross-country team were able to catch a thief who was spotted stealing from one of the member's hotel rooms.

Patrick Leary

A thief’s getaway was short-lived when the ones in pursuit turned out to be members of a highly-ranked university cross-country team.

“A criminal robbed our hotel room, but he couldn’t run away from a team of cross-country runners,” Patrick Leary wrote on Instagram on Sept. 25. “Thank you to Minnesota PD for helping us out.”

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Members of the University of Arizona cross-country team were finishing packing up and planning to head back home on a recent trip to Minneapolis for a high-level race, the Roy Griak Cross-Country Invitational. Collins Kibet, a 1:46.87 800m runner with Arizona, was one of the last remaining members to pack up his things when a man sprinted out of one of the team’s rooms with a bag, down the stairs and across the parking lot.

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“A dude took our stuff while someone was coming back into the room, and he chased him outside and our team all saw him from breakfast and chased him down and caught him then we called the cops,” Leary told Flotrack describing how the events unfolded last Sunday.

When the team members eating breakfast saw Kibet and the thief exit the building, the runners took off after the pair in pursuit. The police were notified of the chase and officers tracked down the individual. Leary, Kibet and the rest of the team got a photo with a Minneapolis police officer.

Appropriately, as a travelling cross-country team, some members were outfitted with running shoes and track suits.

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The Arizona team involved with the chase of the robber competed in the men’s division one race at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday. The men’s division two race was won by Canadian and Lakehead University’s Kevin Tree as the team travelled from Thunder Bay, Ont. south to Minnesota for the popular university cross-country meet.