By Fernanda Chamorro, Extreme Alaska
This post will be updated as more information comes in.
Police found the 21-year-old man responsible for the theft of several bicycles and bike parts since February 27 of this year. The investigation began on April 18 when a man reported to UAFPD that his blue Giant mountain bike had been taken from a bike rack near Skarland Hall around March 23. Police reviewed video footage, which showed an individual walking up and taking the bike. Officers followed his trail through the Upper Dorm woods, toward MacLean House. An officer found a spray-painted bicycle locked to a pole next to MacLean.
The officer asked a passerby who the bike belonged to and they said it belonged to someone living in MacLean. The officer knocked on the suspect’s door and as he spoke with the student, he could see bike parts inside his room. The suspect claimed the bike was his and he had found it in the woods last fall and that he spray-painted it then. The officer pointed out that the man had spray paint on his hands and the suspect said it was from painting the bike parts. The man said he bought the other bikes and parts from Craigslist. The officer asked him what the original color of the spray-painted bike was and the man answered blue. It matched the description of the owner who reported his stolen bicycle. The suspect had his car parked outside which contained more bike parts and accessories. As the officer continued to question him, the suspect admitted to having taken the bikes and parts and told the officer where he took them from. The man has pending charges for theft of each of the bikes and parts.
“We can refer multiple cases at the same time to the district attorney’s office,” said Officer Sam Beaudreault. “We’re still putting together the last couple.”
Other victims have now surfaced, including the owner of a red Trek high-end bike that was stripped to the frame on West Ridge.
“One victim we just identified yesterday after he brought in his bike frame and he goes ‘it’s been stripped, I hear you guys had parts,'” said Beaudreault.
Beaudreault and Investigator Steve Goetz are working on the case. The suspect also scraped the serial numbers off of the bicycles. Police are currently looking for the owner of a Trek Model 3900 taken from the front of McIntosh Hall around Spring Break. The bike appears to have originally been red and white. Police ask that the bike owner and anyone whose bike parts were stolen please go to the police station to pick them up. UAFPD has the bike, handlebars, seats, wheels and tires. The man is expected to be charged in the following week and his name will be released at the time that the charges go through.
To report a stolen bicycle or bike parts, contact UAFPD via email at UAF-Police-Dept@alaska.edu or call (907) 474-7721.
For immediate updates, visit the UAFPD Facebook page.