Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 18th, 2014 at 1:47 pm
Reader Evan B. shares what he knows about an alleged chop shop in Hillsboro — showing that bike theft isn’t just an issue here in Portland, but across the region…
(Evan’s message below also appeared on Reddit)
Just wanted to give you a heads up that there is most definitely a bicycle “chop shop” in Hillsboro. It is somewhere in the neighborhood of the area bounded by Baseline, Cornelius Pass, Lois, and Century roads.
My girlfriend and I had our u-locked bicycles stolen from our doorstep overnight on Sep 30th – Oct 1st. While out walking yesterday we caught the thief on her bike at the intersection of Cornelius Pass and Lois. I managed to grab the bike from him and pursue him for a few miles while on the phone with the police, but he ultimately got away.
Looking at the bike afterwards, we found parts from my missing bike had been installed on her bike, as well as the parts of many other, presumably stolen, bikes. This is a very common technique used by bicycle thieves to disguise stolen bikes and components.
While filling out the police report in the Albertsons parking lot, a bum approached us and corroborated much of what had happened, adding that he saw the general direction the thief headed. The police dispatched units to that area but have thus far come up with nothing.
I returned to Albertsons to see if the thief had dropped anything I could use to identify him – he had zip-tied a fanny pack (which he ultimately ripped off the bike during the incident) to the handlebars of the recovered bicycle. It contained personal belongings and many bike tools to used to disassemble bicycles.
I found the bum that had spoken to us earlier and he managed to give me a little more information about the thief. He said that he has seen him many times in the area I described above and believes the thief and the thief’s buddy, a black male named ****, have stolen many bikes in the area. According to the bum, the thieves believe they “run the area” as far as stealing bikes, swapping the parts, and selling them goes.
If any of you know someone whom has had a bicycle stolen from them near that area or knows anything about these two individuals, please contact the Hillsboro Police Department and add your info to case #14809045. Stay safe and always keep your bikes locked and out of sight!
Picture of the thief He’s about 6’2″, pale complexion, and looks like a tweaker.
Edit 1 10/05 0945: the police just came to our door with a much better picture of him (a mugshot from another crime, apparently), but would not let me get a copy of the photo or his name. They did tell me that he is age 33, 6’4″, and about 160 lbs (very skinny) which is close to what I pegged him at. His hair is short, brown, and curly. He was wearing very loose-fitting clothing, as you can see in the picture, I.e. basketball shorts, flip flops, long hoodie. He had green sunglasses with an orange tint and a red and black baseball cap on.
Edit 2 10/05 1130: Just got a call from the officer handling the case: the suspect has been arrested at his residence, but is refusing to give consent to have his house searched. Several bikes have been found on the premises, though, with one of them being possibly our other missing bike. I will update ASAP.
Edit 3 10/05 1415: Received a call from the deputy; the suspect has been released. His name ******* and he lives in Hillsboro – which turned out to be in the area I originally described. He has a court order preventing him from coming within 100 yards of us and is scheduled to appear in court on the Theft 2 charge (a misdemeanor). The court hearing is at 0830 on October 16th at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The thief is giving the same story to the police that he gave us when we confronted him: he bought it from a friend two months ago. The police officers involved in the case stated they absolutely did not believe his story, but since there is no definitive proof linking him to the theft, that he may get away with it. Therefore, I desperately need any of you that may know anything about these crimes to report them to the Hillsboro Police Department. Thank you!
Edit 4 10/05 1445: Found another, much better mug shot of the thief online by searching the terms *****.
Publisher’s note: This post originally contained unverified information about the alleged bike thieves name and place of residents. I’ve removed those references.