GOLDEN, Colo. – In the last few months, there has been an uptick in smash-and-grab bike thefts across the Front Range.
Local bike shops shared surveillance video with Denver7 that showed the extent brazen thieves took, to steal tens-of-thousands of dollars’ worth of high-end bikes.
The most recent happened at Pedal Pushers Cyclery in Golden on March 2nd. The shop is located on Golden Ridge Road
Crooks were seen casing the place before they reversed a white van into the side of the shop. The van pushed the wall and shattered the window, and gave the thieves entry.
.@PedalPushersCO shared surveillance video of the recent smash and grab at the Golden bike shop. Between the stolen bikes and damage, the heist set the shop back roughly $35k! This is just one of nearly a dozen similar crimes against high-end cycle shops. Details on #Denver7pic.twitter.com/ugNDHsyLjy
“They were only in the store for less than a minute,” store manager Chris Courtney said.
That was just enough time for the group to take more than $25,000 in bikes and cause up to $10,000 in damage.
“Knowing that we have security,” Courtney explained, “That didn't deter them at all.”
He described security measures that haven’t stopped nearly a dozen other similar smash-and-grabs around the metro area.
Denver Police shared a list of ten shops around the city that have been targeted since April 2017.
“To see this many happen in this short order, this is a very organized ring,” James Sharpe told Denver7. “I'm certain there's some relationship between them.”
Sharpe owns TriBella in downtown Denver.
His shop was hit in December, and is located only about a quarter-mile from police headquarters.
“Three bikes later, and nine seconds… $7,000 gone,” he said.
In the surveillance video Sharpe shared with Denver7, two people throw rocks through one of the shop’s front windows. One of the suspects clears the way for the other, and both run in, grab the bikes and disappear.
The Colorado cycling community is on high alert.
Many say it isn’t a question of “if” they will be hit, but “when?”
“We were just kind of waiting for it to happen, if it was going to, knowing that it happened at a lot of other shops,” Courtney said.
Police haven’t released where these bikes are ending up. However, cyclists and shop owners speculate the high-end bikes are being moved south of the border.
“I know there’s a huge thirst for high-end bikes in Columbia and South America, and Mexico City,” Sharpe said.
For now, some shops are having to move merchandise off the floor before the crooks do.
“The sad truth is when we empty our store out at night, it really looks like our shop's gone out of business because there's nothing here. That's the unfortunate thing,” Sharpe said.
Police do not have suspect information. However, they encourage the public to notify police if they have any information that could lead to an arrest.