Bike thefts increasing in Breckenridge
Summit County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” Breckenridge police believe thieves are targeting high-end road bikes after a dozen thefts since June.
“A few of the stolen bikes were worth $5,000,” Breckenridge police investigator Susan Quesada said.
“This is the first time we have seen this kind of trend.”
Bikes have been taken from outside businesses around Main Street, and two were stolen from a garage in the Wellington neighborhood.
The garage was not locked, and there was no sign of forced entry, police reports indicate.
While many of the stolen bikes were not locked, several did have metal chain locks that were cracked with a bolt cutter, according to Quesada.
“We’re dealing with an individual, or a group of individuals, that is out there looking for high-end bikes,” Quesada said.
“People don’t believe crimes can occur here, but we need more citizens to be aware of what’s going on.”
Breckenridge police arrested two Fairplay residents earlier in the summer for stealing bikes from outside a Breckenridge bike rental shop.
But they do not believe the culprits were involved in other thefts in the area.
Investigators have reason to believe that the stolen bikes are being sold to pawn shops or online auction sites, and the Breckenridge Police Department recently acquired a new software program, called LeadsOnline, that provides detailed information for any transaction done online.
“In the past, when we have dealt with stolen items we have had to go through eBay by hand to try to find them,” Quesada said.
“This new program does the same thing in minutes.”
LeadsOnline is the nation’s largest online investigative system and is currently used by some 800 law-enforcement agencies across the country.
The site has electronic access to transactions from almost 4,000 pawn shops, secondhand stores and Internet drop-off stores, as well as critical information about eBay listings for criminal investigations.
“We haven’t used it much yet, but we know it will be an invaluable resource come winter when people report stolen skis,” Quesada said.
Breckenridge police are asking that people lock their bikes and be vigilant for any suspicious activity that could be related to bike theft.
“These are crimes of opportunity,” Quesada said.
“We need people to alert us if they have any leads on who may be doing this.”