Update: detectives have photographed the bikes recovered Tuesday evening and are now working to find their owners. If you recognize your bike in any of these photos, please email Detective Scotty Bach at Scotty.Bach@Seattle.gov. In order to claim your bike, you will need to provide proof of ownership, like a purchase receipt, case number related to the bike or photo clearly showing you with the bike.
A tip on Twitter led Seattle police to uncover a surreptitious showroom of stolen bicycles Tuesday evening in downtown Seattle.
Major Crimes Taskforce detectives began investigating a suspicious Craigslst seller earlier this week after receiving a lead through the department’s Twitter account, @SeattlePD, that a man was selling high-end bikes at deep discounts.
After detectives found the seller had at least 10 bikes posted online, an undercover detective, posing as an interested buyer, set up a meeting with the suspect.
The detective met the man around 6 PM Tuesday at 3rd Avenue and Stewart St, where the suspect showed off one of his bikes. The detective told the man the bike wasn’t quite what he was looking for and asked if he had anything else. It just so happened the suspect had a partner-in-crime waiting right across the street with a second bike.
After showing off the second bicycle, the suspects brought the detective down to a nearby storage facility, where they were storing dozens of suspected stolen bikes.
The detective picked one out, paid $200 for it and went to check the bike’s serial number, which quickly showed it had been reported stolen. Police arrested the two suspects and got permission to search the storage unit, where they recovered a total of 27 bikes—many of them high-end—as well as 30 or so expensive bike rims.
Police are now working with prosecutors on the case and are still sorting through all the recovered bicycles to attempt to locate their rightful owners.