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SPD: Owner of Belltown’s Bicycle Pull-Apart arrested in chop shop investigation

UPDATE: Read our follow-up story, including an interview with Bicycle Pull-Apart Owner Eric Patchen.

Seattle Police arrested the owner of Bicycle Pull-Apart at 3rd and Battery in Belltown in March and today released an outline of their investigation into the shop.

Their investigation led police to search the property and found thousands of dollars worth of bikes that were reported stolen in recent years. Police say they are working to get those bikes back to their owners.

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Details from the SPD Blotter:

Seattle police believe the owner of a Belltown bicycle shop has been wheeling and dealing with convicted felons to traffic thousands of dollars worth of stolen bikes through his store.

For months, detectives have been investigating Bicycle Pull-Apart, located near 3rd Avenue and Battery Street, after receiving tips that the shop was buying, rebuilding and reselling stolen bikes.

In March, detectives tied the owner of the shop to the suspicious sale of a $4,000 bike stolen from a Belltown apartment building in June 2013. In March of this year, police found records that showed the bike was sold to Pull-Apart within days of the theft.

Pull-Apart, like pawn shops, is required to track all of its used-bike purchases through an online system—called Leadsonline—which police can also use to locate and track stolen and re-sold items. Curiously, that online sale-tracking system showed that Pull-Apart’s owner had pawned the stolen bike to his own store. Police believe he attempted to sell the same bike on eBay in March.

Detectives went to the shop and arrested the owner on March 13 and booked him into the King County Jail for trafficking in stolen property and continued investigating sales at the shop.

After reviewing purchase records at Pull-Apart, police found suspiciously mistyped serial numbers entered in the online system—making it much more difficult to search for stolen bikes in the system. Detectives also found purchase logs showing that more than half of the bikes bought by the shop between February 2013 and January 2014 were bought from convicted felons, many of whom have records for burglary and theft.

On April 9th, detectives made another visit to Pull-Apart, where they served a warrant and recovered three bikes, collectively valued at more than $9,000. All three bikes were reported stolen in three separate incidents in August and September 2013 and March 2014. Police are working to return the bikes to their rightful owners.

Detectives are still investigating the shop and are working to  If you’ve previously reported your bike stolen to police, please make sure you’ve provided your bike’s serial number to police. If you haven’t, please call (206) 625-5011 and provide your case number and your bike’s info to the Telephone Reporting Unit.

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14 responses to “SPD: Owner of Belltown’s Bicycle Pull-Apart arrested in chop shop investigation”

  1. […] Belltown bike “chop shop”: The owner of Bicycle Pull-Apart at 3rd and Battery has been arrested as part of a theft investigation. […]

  2. Richard

    September 2013??? I don’t dare hope….

    1. Mary Vance

      very possible Richard, I hope you get it back.

  3. Gary

    “BPA’s crème de la crème are our custom builds. ” Facepalm…

  4. Say, anyone know how to safely but indelibly mark a CF frame? I got a new SCOTT recently, and there’s a sticker on it with the Serial # – a damn STICKER.
    Is there some standard way to mark these bikes permanently that will not compromise their integrity? I’m thinking of epoxying an RFID tag inside the top tube, but that makes it a challenge unless I have the RFID reader to prove it’s mine…

    Just wondering what other folks do. Thanks.

    1. andrew

      Would a RFID tag work? I wouldn’t imagine that a RFID reader could pick it up through metal.

      1. Nathan

        CF = Carbon Fiber, so it should since it isn’t metal.

    2. Dave

      I would contact the folks at Ruckus Carbon in Portland–they repair and do custom built carbon frames. They told me something once about how they could put a serial number inside of a head tube.

  5. Dylan

    Ugh! That guy totally had me fooled! What an ass hat!

  6. Eric

    I was always taught that a great way to help return a lost bike is to write your name and phone number on a piece of paper, stick it in a ziplock, and put it in the seatpost or seat-tube of your bike.

    In a pinch, it could at the very least point to the appropriate owner of a stolen bike.

  7. […] as we reported yesterday, Patchen and his Belltown bike shop Bicycle Pull-Apart are now the subject of a police […]

  8. Daniel Burkert

    Close them down immediately. Worst shop ever.

  9. grand grand

    i definitely know, from many, many experiences, that this shop is not at all a “community shop” and is run by someone who cares much more about money, at any cost to community. a man with many enemies. many people come into this shop and sell 300 dollar bike wheels for 20 bucks to him and he doesnt bat an eye. it is sad to see drug addicts all over the streets of seattle and stealing bikes is a very very easy thing to do for them to get money. having erich to sell them makes it even easier. should a store owner buy campagnolo racing wheels from someone they admit to be a tweaker? a second time, maybe some sram red brifters from the same person? i think it helps shutting this store down, but the biggest problem is drug use and its concequence of petty crime. agreed…worst shop ever…its M.O. is blatantly immoral

    1. blah blah

      Blah blah blah,

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