eBay Search Leads To Suspected Bike Thief

Farrell Accused Of Stealing High-End Bikes Worth Tens Of Thousands

A search on eBay helped lead police to a suspected bike thief who was allegedly stealing high-end bikes worth thousands of dollars.

Terrance Michael Farrell, 33, is accused of selling 40 high-end bikes worth more than $70,000 to an eBay entrepreneur.

The entrepreneur, Stephen Ellison, then resold them on the auction web site, Boulder police said.

Farrell is scheduled for trial in March. Farrell faces 42 years in prison if convicted of felony theft charges and violating probation from a previous bicycle theft conviction. He is being held at the Boulder County Jail in lieu of a $17,500 bond.

He is said to be the most prolific bike thief in Boulder, according to the Daily Camera.

The thefts occurred between November 2004 and June 2005.

Farrell was caught after a victim set up an automatic search on eBay to alert him if any bike similar to his teal Bianchi Axis road bike was ever on the auction block, the Camera reported. When the victim got the e-mail telling him that his $1,600 bike was for sale, he called police.

Detectives tracked down the seller, named " rocknrollprof," and found dozens of bikes at Ellison's home, his son's garage and a storage locker.

Ellison, who was a teacher at the University of Colorado but quit because of his booming Internet business, told police he didn't know the bikes were stolen, according to the arrest warrant.

He fingered Farrell as his supplier, saying that all this time he thought Farrell was getting the bikes as trade-ins from a friend's bike shop. Ellison told the Camera that Farrell seemed to have come from an affluent family so he never questioned where the high-end bikes were coming from or why he seemed to have so many.

Ellison told the newspaper that he is a victim in this situation and he's already out $5,000 because police seized the bikes he hadn't had time to sell. He said he is waiting for Farrell's case to end so he can take back any bikes investigators are unable to match up with an owner.

Boulder police tracked down some of the people who bought the stolen bikes on eBay, and many are being cooperative and returning them, but many of them also remain unknown, said police spokeswoman Julie Brooks.

Police say Farrell has an extensive criminal history. He has pleaded guilty to selling stolen bicycles on Craigslist.com and is also accused of selling a stolen laptop on Craigslist.

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