Utah County bicycle stores robbed of thousands of dollars in merchandise

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AMERICAN FORK — Police from several cities in Utah County are investigating a string of bike thefts. Three shops were within a couple of weeks of one another, and the bikes stolen are some of the most expensive the shops sell.

"You're just sick. You're heartbroken. You feel violated," said Jeff Nolte, owner of Trek Bicycle of American Fork.

Nolte watched this scene play out twice this month: someone smashing through his glass shop window, stealing what they could, and then taking off.

"People come into your business that you work so hard for and they just take whatever they want," Nolte said.

The first time, which was a couple of weeks ago, the thieves stole a mountain bike worth more than $3,000. Then early on the morning of Sept. 17, his alarm company called again. Another window was smashed and another bike worth the same amount was gone.

"It's more than just the bikes and the dollars, it's morale too I guess," Nolte said.

And his morale sunk even lower when he learned he's not the only bike shop in Utah County thieves broke into. Early in the morning on Sept. 16, the same thing happened at Mad Dog Cycles in Orem. The thieves stole a $6,500 mountain bike.

"The Trek Superfly 100 Elite," explained Randy Gibb, owner of Mad Dog Cycles. "It's a great mountain bike, has some unique features to it. It's pretty rare, partly because it's so expensive."

And a couple of weeks ago at Timpanogos Cyclery in Pleasant Grove, thieves stole four bikes and even more equipment — totaling more than $18,000.

"The people knew exactly what they were looking for," said Wes Rasmussen, manager at Timpanogos Cyclery. "They got four of the most expensive bikes that we have. It was a quick smash-grab. They probably staked out the place beforehand."

Add in glass repairs, and the now increased security measures, and these locally owned shops are taking a big hit.

Police agencies in all cities are working together and say the same people are likely responsible.

"You will be caught," Nolte wants the thieves to know. "We have surveillance video, police are hot on their trails. You will be caught." Police say they've interviewed several people they believe have knowledge of the crimes.

They advise people to keep a look out for these bikes and check serial numbers with police before you buy a bike from a private seller. If a bike turns out to be stolen, police can confiscate it.

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Jennifer Stagg


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