Seattle Police Officer Mark Vwich has a very good memory.
A week after he took a report from someone who had their bike stolen from a downtown garage, Vwich spotted the wheels in the hands of a guy hanging around the West Precinct.
He approached the man and inspected the bike, discovering the serial number did, indeed, match the one stolen, according to SPD:
Officer Mark Vwich was pulling his patrol car in front of the West Precinct last Thursday when something caught his eye.
About a week earlier, on February 18th, Officer Vwich had been called to a downtown parking garage after a reported burglary and theft of a high-end bike.
When he pulled in front of the station Thursday, he saw the same burgled bike, now in the clutches of a man wearing cycling gloves.
Officer Vwich walked up to the man—who was standing with a group of people outside a convenience store—and asked him where he’d gotten the bike. The man replied he’d bought the $2,000 Ridley bicycle for $50 from a “friend’s friend.”
The serial number on the bike matched up with the one Officer Vwich had taken a report on a week earlier, confirming it was indeed the same stolen cycle, so he arrested the man.
When police searched the suspect, they found two suspected meth pipes, a stolen bank card, and a receipt showing someone had used the stolen card to buy $300 worth of new shoes and “lounge pants.”
Officers booked the man into the King County Jail for possession of stolen property.
Reminder, you should always report bike thefts to the police. You never know if it might turn up again, and the data is important for tracking trends and theft hot spots.
You can also register your stolen bike with Bike Index via Seattle Bike Blog’s Stolen Bike Listings. Bike Index is a publicly searchable index, and is also a good way to check if a suspicious bike has been reported stolen.
Meanwhile, police in Portland are launching a Bike Theft Task Force to focus on the growing issue. Perhaps this is an idea Seattle can build on.