Theft is common all over the U.S. And as reported by the Star Tribune, in one Twin Cities theft case, a bicyclist tipped off police when they noticed someone riding a series of high-end bikes. After investigating the tip the police found 44 stolen bicycles stashed up to the rafters in a house in South Minneapolis.
The collection of bikes was mostly mountain bikes and adult road bikes. When police confiscated the bikes, they were housed at the Third Precinct station.
Authorities arrested a man at the house and the charge was receiving and concealing stolen property. The man told the officers that the bikes stashed in his basement, living room, detached garage, and attic were not stolen. However, police pulled a serial number off of one of the bikes to track down who really owned it.
The officer who ran the serial number called the owner later on to tell her that her bike had been recovered. The value of the bike was $1,500.
To get the bike, the alleged thief crawled through her garage’s dog door to get to it.
All of the bikes that were found included some specialized brands that could be worth up to $25,000. It is believed that most of the bikes were to be listed on Craigslist, according to information that has been gathered in the investigation. A computer was also found at the home of the man arrested.
It is not clear who was actually committing the theft in Minneapolis and around the Twin Cities, but it is believed that the house was a drop-off point rather than the resident there being the actual thief. Some of the bikes that were found had been missing for a year, while others were only missing for a week. One of the bikes found had been stolen from another state hundreds of miles away.
A police spokesman said that the bikes would be returned to their rightful owners as long as the bikes were registered in the city’s bike registration system. This system was established in 2013 to help return stolen bikes to their owners. However, not all of the bikes are registered and that could make it more difficult to return them to the owners.
Some of the bikes recovered may end up in the city’s property warehouse and could eventually be sold by the city. It is recommended that all bicycle owners register their bikes with the city so that they are more likely to recover their bikes if they are stolen.
The arrested individual is said to have possibly been a man who would pay a small fee or pay with marijuana for the bikes. After a while, word got out that he would pay for bikes and people would start showing up at his door with bicycles, regardless of where the individuals acquired the bikes.