Abandoned bikes around city a mystery | PostIndependent.com

Abandoned bikes around city a mystery

Glenwood Police Officer Thomas Moser shows the 20 unclaimed bikes picked up by Glenwood police in recent weeks.
Katie Hankinson / Post Independent |

A large number of bicycles have been recovered by the Glenwood Springs Police Department over the past month, outnumbering the number of reports the department has received about stolen bicycles.

Reports indicate that the bicycles have been appearing randomly around Glenwood, and could have been stolen from neighboring towns.

In the past month, 20 stolen bikes have been reported to the department. The Basalt, Carbondale and New Castle police departments all said they have not seen an increase in bike thefts, which makes the bike finds in Glenwood puzzling.

Police Chief Terry Wilson said he has to believe that this is a more organized series of crimes than a random thief at work.

“We have someone who is making a hobby or career of stealing bikes and leaving them places or trying to sell them back,” Wilson said. “In the past two months we have had a huge upswing of in reports of bicycles being stolen, and then finding them scattered in random parts of town.”

Wilson has said not many similarities exist among the reports of the missing bikes. The bicycles range from inexpensive street bikes to very highly valued mountain bikes, and have been left around town for someone else’s taking. But Wilson noted that more bikes have been found than reported stolen.

“The goofy thing is that we started finding bicycles that weren’t being claimed by anyone or reported as stolen,” he said. “We have definitely had more activity of people coming to see about the bikes. But we’ll get folks to come look at them, and we’ll find out it was stolen a month ago and they just didn’t report it. We need people to report those things when they happen.”

Wilson believes that more than one person could be responsible in the bike thefts.

“A while back there was a group of people stealing bikes from all over the place,” Wilson said. “They would gather them up in a van, paint them different colors, and sell them at flea markets in Leadville. So maybe it’s something like that. Maybe it’s something completely different. Maybe there is a group working together, maybe it’s all different individuals deciding they want to stir up trouble. Right now we just want to make sure everyone who has had a bike stolen from them gets it back.”

Anyone who is missing a bike should call the police nonemergency line at (970) 384-6500.

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