Earlier this month, thieves broke into a Denver bike shop at night and successfully stole ten BMX bikes, worth around $4,000 total.
The owner of the Evans Avenue shop, called Pusher BMX, was pissed to discover the damage the next day. But that wasn't the worst moment of frustration. Since the break-in, the owner and employees have not once, but twice encountered the alleged thieves walking around Denver with the stolen bikes.
Despite these two encounters, they've still been unable to recover the bikes and the Denver Police Department hasn't announced any arrests.
Late on September 5, explains Clayton Brown, owner of Pusher BMX, which touts itself as Colorado's only rider-owned and -operated BMX shop, thieves broke through the shop's window and were able to steal ten new 2013 BMX bikes.
"They broke the window around 9 p.m. and then had free rein in there," Brown says.
The thieves managed to remove ten bikes, all through the window, which Brown says probably would've taken a fairly long time, since they could really only move one bike at a time.
Brown discovered the mess the next day when he arrived to open up the shop at noon. There was a note on the door from the Denver Police Department alerting him to what was immediately obvious: The shop had been burglarized.
"The store was pretty trashed...the window bashed out," he says. "They also stole small items here and there...shop hats."
He adds: "Things were just thrown down. The back of the building was trashed."
On top of that, the shop's alarm system completely failed.
Continue to read more about the Pusher BMX bike theft and encounters with suspected thieves. A DPD spokeswoman contacted last week told us the investigation is still active. She also gave us the preliminary report, on view below, which says the crime happened somewhere between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the 5th and is considered a felony. The business was entered by force, the report says.
Brown says cops returned to the scene that day and took fingerprints.
Later that day, one of Pusher BMX's riders -- cyclists whom the store sponsors -- was actually approached by someone at the Denver Skate Park who was looking to sell two bikes.
Two of the bikes snagged from Pusher BMX, that is.
"They are really rare bikes. Nobody really carries them," says Brown, pointing out that any employee or rider from Pusher BMX would easily recognize them on the street or if they were being sold on Craigslist.
Brown says his rider tried to keep the alleged suspect there as long as possible. He called the police, but once the individual realized something might be wrong, he jumped in an SUV and drove off. The cops didn't get there in time.
The following day, Brown himself saw a boy who looked like he was about ten years old with one of his unique bikes at a 7-Eleven near the Pusher BMX shop. Once he tried to approach him, an older kid started punching at them, he says, and the younger kid got away with the bike.
Brown suspects that it was someone in the neighborhood who robbed them, given that he saw this kid riding around with a bike very close to his shop.
Pusher BMX isn't the only recent victim of bike theft in Denver. Last month, we wrote about an alleged serial bike thief who seems to have stolen dozens of bikes from possibly two different apartment buildings. And in general, bike theft in Denver has been on the rise this year, though the number of riders in the city is increasing, too.
"This is the worst thing," Brown says. "We are a small business.... Anytime something like this happens, it's not good."
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Here's the initial police report.