If anyone has video of 31-year-old parolee Michael Toplin riding down Central Avenue on a pink bicycle fit for a 10-year-old last Wednesday night — still outfitted in his grisly black prison jumpsuit — please, PLEASE send it our way.
Aside from maybe a tankful of gas at $1.10 per gallon, nothing could make us happier to be alive than Tube of Toplin's goofy ass wobbling along the sidewalk like his getaway depended on it [Glendale News-Press; spotted at LA Curbed].
Fittingly, Toplin was already on parole for “receiving stolen property”…
… and had just been released from L.A. County jail earlier that day. Glendale police told the News-Press that the girly-man ride of shame “likely resulted from Toplin needing some mode of transportation.”
Here's how investigators put two-and-two together:
Special Enforcement Detail officers, whose duties include monitoring parolees, reported spotting Toplin about 7:30 p.m. riding the pink bike on a Central Avenue sidewalk, a code violation.
The same bike had been reported stolen 10 minutes earlier from an apartment in the 100 block of Louise Street, according to police reports.
Though Toplin allegedly tried to convince officers that a “friend” had given him the bike outside a Home Depot in the Valley (which, if true, only would have added possible pedophile to his watch list), they put their investigative training to use — calling BS and arresting Toplin “on suspicion of receiving stolen property and petty theft with a prior conviction.”
Most heartwarmingly, the small Louise Street resident saw justice in the form of her trusty pink steed back on her doorstep. (Hopefully doused in antibacterial spray ASAP.)
“They have no ethics, and they are willing to take from others,” Glendale police Sergeant Tom Lorenz said of desperate ex-prisoners such as Toplin.
It's a hilarious snapshot of a bigger, more serious problem: Hundreds of county prisoners are released with nothing but the clothes on their back — society's stamp of disapproval erasing any hope of legitimate job prospects or a fresh start. What's left to do but revert to criminal shortcuts?
But anyway, guys: Video. Please. Viral, guaranteed.