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After taking stolen bike report, SPD officer spots it with man outside precinct

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:

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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.

“rough” version of the task force’s logo, from Bike Portland


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7 responses to “After taking stolen bike report, SPD officer spots it with man outside precinct”

  1. Cheif

    Hey the police bumble into doing something right for once.

    WTF is a “suspected meth pipe”

    1. Taylor

      I’m guessing a “suspected” meth pipe is the type of glass pipe that meth is usually smoked out of, but since anything can be smoked in those, it’s just “suspected” to be used for meth.

  2. Tom

    Bike thieves are scum and I want to see those lounge pants. Good job officer Vwich!

  3. daihard

    Good on you, officer Vwich! We need more police officers like you.

  4. Its crazy what people will do to support their “lounge pants” habit.

    1. Joel S

      Lounge Life is a struggle

  5. Allan

    Thanks to officer Vwich. Great police work. I really have to save my serial numbers but the problem is they are under the cable guide, you have to take it off to see them on most of my bikes. I should not be so lazy. I might need them some day. That is the first lesson, the second lesson is, that riding such an expensive bike around Seattle does invite trouble, and especially bad to leave it in a downtown parking garage. It is not a smart commuter bike, and it does not like pot holes and glass on the road either. It is for club rides outside the city, and rides like STP. If I park a bike with $20 shifters, a $20 derailleur and $20 brakes, it is much less temptation for a bike thief, and I get just as much exercise for the out of town club rides on a better bike. Also I don’t get flat tires, at least not more than once every year or two.

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