High-end bike thief arrested in Park City

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PARK CITY -- Thieves who steal stereo equipment, or electronics, or even car parts, have a pretty easy market to sell those items and get money. Thieves who steal high-end bicycles have a tougher time.

Park City police detectives say they've arrested a man for stealing six high-end bicycles during a bike show in July. Stuart Nachlas, 39, was booked into the Summit County jail, charged with second-degree felony theft.

Detectives say he was hired by Cannondale Bicycles to do some recycling work from them during the July show at the Park City Marriott Sidewinder hotel.

"Close to $30,000 in bikes were recovered from this one theft and one individual," said Park City police Capt. Phil Kirk. "We were able to put things together and got fortunate on it when he made a mistake."

Detectives say the mistake Nachlas made was when he sold a prototype bicycle to a buyer on KSL.com. The buyer then went to a bike dealership to buy gear for it.

"They tried to get the bike set up, and that's when they realized from the dealership that this bike isn't even out to the general public yet," Kirk said.

The buyer and dealer called police, who set up a sting to catch Nachlas.

An undercover police officer contacted Nachlas, saying he was interested in buying one of the bikes. They agreed to make the transaction at the Park City library.

When Nachlas arrived at the library to sell the bicycle, detectives arrested him.

"He lived near the library, and we went to his house where we found the rest of the bikes," Kirk said.

Jon Kolon, who owns Dharma Wheels Cyclery in Park City, remembers when he heard about the bikes stolen from the bike show in July.

"Everybody seems to know everybody in this business, even the bike shop owners tend to get to know each other and know about what each shop does," Kolon said.

When he first heard someone stole six high-end bikes and prototypes from the bike show, he had a hunch they'd eventually be caught.

"I don't understand why people steal high-end bikes, because even Lance Armstrong's bike was stolen this year. Who's the market? Who are you going to sell it to? There really isn't a place where you can sell them easily," Kolon said.

Kolon says high-end bike riders know who owns the expensive bikes in town and are always watching out for each other.

"We've had folks call us and say, ‘Jon, do you know your Moots demo bike is out there on the trail?' I said, 'Oh yeah, we have a test ride going on.' And they'll say, ‘we just wanted to make sure.'"

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com


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