Police say a bicycle theft ring likely has come to a skidding stop after the arrest of a 22-year-old accused of swiping nearly four dozen bikes.
Investigators, acting on a tip from a suspicious neighbor who noticed teens coming and going with high-end bicycles, found the bikes "stuffed to the rafters" in the south Minneapolis house, the Star Tribune reports. They arrested the 22-year-old on a charge of receiving and concealing stolen property.
The man told police the bikes, stashed in the home, the attic, garage and basement had not been stolen, but police tracked a serial number on a $1,500 mountain bike to its original owner, who was pleased to hear it had been found, the Star Tribune reported.
“He is just an individual that would pay a small amount of money for bikes, and word got out and people would just show up with bikes,” an investigator told WCCO.
It's not yet known who stole the bikes; police suspect the house was a drop point for the pilfered two-wheelers.
Detectives told FOX 9 that the 22-year-old was paying teens $20, or giving them marijuana, for each bike and then selling the stolen property for $70 to $100.
Police are now trying to find the owners of the rest of the bikes, although they acknowledge that might be difficult. Some of the bikes were stolen as long as a year ago and as recently as a week ago, the Star Tribune reports. Ultimately, unclaimed bikes could be auctioned off by police if owners can't be tracked, WCCO reports.
Police recommend that bike owners register their rides with their city, which makes it much easier to reunite stolen bicycles with owners. In Minneapolis, register here.