Bike Theft Archives

Police surprise Craigslist seller to help woman get her stolen bike back

Posted on October 19th, 2016 at 4:05 pm.

The Craigslist post (still up as of today) said the bike was, "Recently bought for me as a gift but I'm not much into bicycle riding."

The Craigslist post (still up as of today) said the bike was, “Recently bought for me as a gift but I’m not much into bicycle riding.”

Northwest Portland resident Tina Penman is feeling very grateful for the Portland Police Bureau today. After her bike got stolen on Monday she set up a Craiglist sting with an officer who rolled up just in time to bust the thief.

In the interest of educating others about how to prevent and recover a stolen bike, we asked Tina to share how it all went down. Here’s her story…

With the rain and winds late last week into this past weekend, I took a 5-day hiatus from riding my bike. On Monday night, I popped down to my building’s private courtyard to say hi (who doesn’t miss their bike after a 5-day hiatus?) and see how it was doing. I live in an apartment complex in the Pearl and you need a fob to gain access to this area. To my unpleasant surprise, it was no longer there. I had it locked using a Kryptonite Chain Combination Lock in a well-lit area next to two other bikes (one was my husband’s) that remain unscathed.

I immediately hit up my husband and a couple friends to ask for advice. My bike had a Tile tracker attached to seat and I wasn’t sure how it would work in a situation where my bike could be anywhere. Tile utilizes a Bluetooth connection so you have to be in very close proximity for an item with a Tile attached to be found. I hopped in a Zipcar, drove real slow around some popular camps in PDX in hopes my Tile app would capture my bike, but no such luck. After driving around for an hour, I realized it was like searching for a needle in a haystack so I called it quits and went home.


Forced to steal, a Cedar Hills teen turns in her mom and gets a new bike

Posted on October 7th, 2016 at 11:45 am.

This duo was arrested on multiple charges.(Photos: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

This duo was arrested on multiple charges.
(Photos: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

We’ve covered many bike theft stories over the years; but we’ve never heard of anything quite like what we learned from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office this morning.

A 13-year-old girl in Cedar Hills (seven miles west of Portland) called the police to report a bicycle that she suspected was stolen. The amazing thing is that the bike was given to her by her mother and she told the responding officer it was probably stolen. She was right. She also disclosed that her mom had forced her to steal all sorts of things from apartment complexes and donation drop-off locations.

Deputies investigated and found out that the girl’s mom — 33-year-old Beaverton resident Lara Kent and her partner, 37-year-Jack Harman Jr. from Portland — had a U-haul van and a storage unit stuffed with stolen goods. They tracked down the van and the storage unit and ultimately arrested the duo.

Among the 70 stolen items recovered were jewelry, checks, mail, license plates, new clothing, 10 bicycles and one electric scooter that belonged to Portlander Cheryl Evans.


Bike Theft Task Force helps nab ‘prolific’ garage burglar

Posted on September 26th, 2016 at 11:30 am.

David Dutcherson.(Photo: PPB)

Joshua Dutcherson.
(Photo: PPB)

The Portland Police Bureau has nabbed another big-time thief who has a taste for high-end bicycles.

The PPB worked with officers from the Bike Theft Task Force and task force partner BikeIndex.org to arrest Joshua Dutcherson last Thursday. The 32-year-old suspect is being held in connection with three burglaries of apartment complex garages where he’s accused of lifting “numerous bicycles.”

Here’s how it went down, via the official police statement about the case:

The Bike Index website (https://bikeindex.org/) was instrumental in identifying some of the stolen bikes. An off-duty detective saw a suspicious van with three high end racing bikes the week prior and took note of the plate and the driver. While officers were investigating some new bike thefts the detective recognized the suspect and the vehicle as the same one he had seen a week prior…


Bike Theft Task Force officers host ride-along on the Springwater Corridor

Posted on August 1st, 2016 at 2:02 pm.

Officers Dave Sanders (right) and Ben Labasan on the Springwater Path Saturday.(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

PPB Officers Dave Sanders (right) and Ben Labasan on the Springwater Path Saturday.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Leaders of the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force did a ride-along on the Springwater Corridor path on Saturday.

The ride was a spontaneous event that founder of the Task Force, PPB Officer Dave Sanders, posted to Twitter just a few hours before he set out. He was joined by fellow Officer Ben Labasan and the two of them were joined by a handful of citizens who showed up to ride with them. It was all part of the Bike Theft Task Force’s ongoing effort to involve the community in the work they are doing to prevent bike theft and recover stolen bikes.

Why the Springwater? “I’ve been wanting to see the issues along the Springwater firsthand and have been wanting to address some of the ongoing tips and complaints that we have received regarding bike theft in this area,” Ofcr Sanders said via email this morning.

Here’s more from Sanders:


Bike Theft Task Force spreads awareness at Sunday Parkways

Posted on July 26th, 2016 at 8:59 am.

PPB Bike Theft Task Force at Sunday Parkways-8.jpg
The booth at the entrance to Woodlawn Park was buzzing with activity all day.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If we’re going to take a bite out of bike theft in Portland we need the whole community to step up: Police, bike shops, city bureaus, and citizens like you and me.


Bike Theft Task Force returns with popular u-lock exchange program

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 at 9:44 am.

After receiving a new u-lock, this woman learned how easy it is to cut her old one.(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

After receiving a new u-lock, this woman learned how easy it is to cut her old one.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Last month’s inaugural U-lock? U-Rock! exchange was so popular that the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force (BTTF) ran out of locks within the first hour.

“Before we even got set up, there was a line. We could not keep up with the demand,” Portland Police Bureau Officer Dave Sanders wrote in a debrief. “At one point, there was a line of cyclists a block long and so many people congregating around our tents, that it was interfering with other organizations.”

Officer Sanders and a crew of volunteers (more are needed!) and city partners will be prepared for the onslaught this Sunday when the program returns for Sunday Parkways Northeast.


Police seek help finding bike burglar caught on video in Montavilla neighborhood

Posted on April 1st, 2016 at 9:43 am.

Screenshot from home video shows man kicking down door.
Watch full video below.

On March 11th, Portlander Mitch Lomacz was the victim of a brazen theft. His home security cameras caught a man who walked into the backyard of his Montavilla home, forcibly kicked open the door of his garage and then grabbed a Scott CR1 road bike (retail value about $1,300).

Lomacz, who works at Cyclepath bike shop, now has the attention of Portland Police Bureau detectives who have put out an APB on the suspect. Apparently this isn’t the first time he’s burglarized a home in the neighborhood.

Please keep your eyes out for the bike and the suspect. Lomacz says the suspect is around 5′ 10 ” tall with a medium build and “sporty appearance”, slightly balding and light-colored hair, is a smoker and “definitely knows his way around a bike.” What makes Lomacz think the suspect is a bike guy? “He found a matching pair of pedals on my workbench full of crap/pedals and walked the bike away by the saddle suggesting he rides and handles bikes a lot.”

Watch the suspect at work in the video below:


“I had given up hope”: Portland woman gets stolen bike back five years later

Posted on March 30th, 2016 at 3:44 pm.

Jade Koide, Bike Gallery Service Manager Scott Scholl, and the custom Bob Jackson.
(Photo courtesy Jade Koide)

It’s been a while since we last shared a good stolen bike recovery story. So here goes…

Portlander Jade Koide emailed us last week with a pretty remarkable story that involved the theft of a bike that had a lot of sentimental value to her.


Video shows thief stealing bike from Red Cross while owner is inside giving blood

Posted on March 17th, 2016 at 3:28 pm.

Consider this video your monthly reminder to stay vigilant when it comes to protecting your bike from thieves.


Portland Bike Theft Task Force receives $4,000 donation from local bike club

Posted on February 22nd, 2016 at 10:32 am.

Bike Theft Task Force donation-1.jpg
Check presentation in lobby of Portland Police Bureau headquarters on Friday.
Left to right: Officer Dave Bryant, Portland Wheelmen President Ann Morrow, past PWTC President Kathleen Hellem, Police Chief Larry O’Dea, Officer Dave Sanders.

The City of Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force has received a financial boost from the largest bike club in town.