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#1 2010-04-01 11:50:58

NadiaB
Member
Registered: 2009-06-11
Posts: 68

Austin Area Bicycle Thefts

Austin Police Department
Citizen Alert

 
Has your bike been stolen?
Austin Police North Bureau detectives are currently investigating a series of bicycle thefts that occurred during the middle of February, in the area north of downtown and south of Koenig Lane. The suspects have been pawning the stolen bicycles or selling them to bike resale shops throughout the city. The North Bureau detectives would like to encourage anyone in this area that was a victim of bike theft and failed to report the theft to call 311 and make a report. Please try to give as much detailed information about the bicycle as you can. We are attempting to link the bikes that the suspects pawned to the proper owner of the bike.

Submit a tip here:

<<http://www.citizenobserver.com/cov6/app/webTipForm.html?id=4117>>

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#2 2010-08-23 16:34:25

seth
Member
From: Austin, TX (Hyde Park)
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 53
Website

Re: Austin Area Bicycle Thefts

I see trailers and trucks filled past the rim with bikes driving south on I35 a few times a month. I figure they are stolen bikes heading down for sale south of the border. Why don't the police pull these folks over and run some serial number checks?

bikes_2333_stolen_trailer.jpg

stolen_232_bike_trailer.jpg

Seth

2L2KIL

Last edited by seth (2010-08-23 16:41:04)

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#3 2010-08-23 21:39:03

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 595

Re: Austin Area Bicycle Thefts

> Why don't the police pull these folks over and run some serial number checks?

To answer the rhetorical question, is simply having a lot of bikes grounds for a police stop and search?

As much as I like the idea, I'm guessing the answer is no.  And it's certainly possible that none of these bikes are stolen -- I've seen trucks like this doing the garage sale rounds, driving around the night before bulk trash pickup ...

And really, if this started happening, they'd just switch to semis to carry the bikes in.  Then they'd have to do the search at the border, but I'm not sure the border guards would want to run all the serial numbers -- that would take hours to do just this one load.

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#4 2010-08-23 23:20:25

seth
Member
From: Austin, TX (Hyde Park)
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 53
Website

Re: Austin Area Bicycle Thefts

To answer the rhetorical question, is simply having a lot of bikes grounds for a police stop and search?

I'm not so sure you're answering a rhetorical question as much as asking a devil's-advocate-styled question.

Happens all the time, Doug. If police have reports of bikes being stolen, which they do, and a truck is seen transporting several bicycles, that is enough for a cop to pull the truck over and ask the driver to explain the source of the bikes, i.e. ask where they came from and if the driver has proof of purchase. Without proof of purchase, the cop can then radio in serial numbers from the roadside to see if any of them have been reported stolen.  This is absolutely a reasonable search.


I've seen trucks like this doing the garage sale rounds, driving around the night before bulk trash pickup ...

I've run several garage sales as well as attended many more garage sales, and I've never seen a truck driving around exclusively buying bicycles. Your observations may be more unique than you realize.

Seth

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#5 2010-08-25 08:58:34

allendemling
Member
Registered: 2008-12-23
Posts: 9

Re: Austin Area Bicycle Thefts

Wow, that blue mountain bike in the front of the trailer looks a lot like the one that was stolen out of my backyard a couple weeks ago. When was this pic taken? I can't be 100% sure since I don't even remember what brand of bike it was, but it looks very similar.

I didn't report it stolen since it was a crappy $100 bike from Toys R Us I bought about 8 years ago, and was purely just for riding to the corner store. It wasn't even worth buying a lock for. I was not at all surprised when I walked out of my house and saw it gone, and was actually relieved when I saw that all the bikes that I did lock up were still there. Also, the few times I have reported serious crimes the detectives never seemed to care much (I was actually told by the detective when I was assaulted that she probably wouldn't have even looked into the case if I hadn't called, and I had their license plate number). I figured this was even less likely to be investigated, and it was mostly my own fault.

Allen

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#6 2010-08-25 15:38:18

seth
Member
From: Austin, TX (Hyde Park)
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 53
Website

Re: Austin Area Bicycle Thefts

Allen,

I'm sorry to hear about your assault and the theft of your mountain bike. I shot these photos last Sunday afternoon driving Southbound on I35 probably around the Oltorf exit. It was bumper-to-bumper traffic, and I was stopped when I shot these photos.

Seth

Last edited by seth (2010-08-25 15:39:23)

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#7 2010-08-26 17:36:28

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 595

Re: Austin Area Bicycle Thefts

Allen -- for every bike you own, make sure you have a record of the serial number somewhere.

And when it's stolen, report it -- even if it's just a crappy $100 bike.  It doesn't take long, just a phone call, and it gives the police more ammunition to use against bike thieves.  In particular, if the guy tries to sell the bike to a pawn shop, he'll get busted when they turn in the serial number.  Or if the guy gets arrested for some other reason and the police start checking his property to see if it's stolen -- if he has your bike, that will help keep him in jail.

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