AG: Colorado bike theft ring cost stores more than $1.5 million
More than a half-dozen men indicted on hundreds of charges
Eight men are facing over 200 charges for their involvement in a bike and car theft ring that stretched from Fraser to Boulder.
According to a statement from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, a grand jury has indicted Kevin Acosta-Larkin, Austin Butler, Gerald Garcia, Maurice Leday, Gregory Melina, Salvador Mena-Barreno, Jason Quijada and Adrian Rocha-Chairez on numerous charges following a prolonged investigation across several counties.
The men are accused of 22 auto thefts and breaking into 29 bike stores spanning from December 2019 through June 2020. The stolen property and damages are estimated at more than $1.5 million.
“Working with our law enforcement partners, we broke up this multi-layered criminal enterprise that harmed several businesses and nonprofit organizations in the mountain communities and Denver metro and Boulder areas,” Weiser said. “We will hold these individuals to account for their actions and harm they caused to the victims and our communities.”
An investigation found the men planned the burglaries over Facebook Messenger. In groups of four, the accused would steal a box truck or van to ram into the windows of a bike store, or otherwise break into a bike store, according to the attorney general.
Once inside, surveillance video shows the men specifically targeting high-end mountain bikes to steal.
Several stores were hit multiple times, including Totally Wired Cyclery in Fraser, which was burglarized twice in 10 days. Littleton’s Giant Cycling World was hit four times over a period of months.
Other bike shops targeted by the group include Boulder Cycle Sport in Boulder, Redstone Cyclery in Lyons and Cenna Custom Cycles in Longmont.
Most of the bikes were not recovered, according to Weiser’s office.
In total, $985,000 worth of bikes was stolen. The stolen automobiles were valued at $258,000 and the businesses suffered over $231,800 worth of damage.
All eight man are charged with felony counts of violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act, first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, second-degree burglary, theft and criminal mischief, among other charges.
The charges were filed in Boulder County on Oct. 25.
The investigation was led by the Boulder Police Department, the Boulder District Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit. Grand County’s District Attorney Matt Karzen also participated in the investigation.
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