Expensive bicycle, worth $6,000, ripped off | ParkRecord.com

Expensive bicycle, worth $6,000, ripped off

A thief stole an expensive mountain bike in Prospector on Friday, taking the bike, investigators said, while a large crowd milled about a vendor during an important mountain-biking conference held in Park City.

Rick Ryan, a Police Department captain, said a sales representative for Trek, a high-end bicycle maker, told the authorities of the missing bike at 5 p.m. It had been in a Trek kiosk in a vendor area in a parking lot on the 1700 block of Prospector Avenue, where much of the conference activity happened.

Ryan said the crowd of people visited the Trek kiosk, looked over the bicycles and left. When the people left, the representative, who is from Boise, Idaho, noticed the bicycle was missing, the captain said.

"It was there and then it was gone," Ryan said.

The bicycle is a Fuel EX 9.5 model. The police said the bike is worth $6,000, putting it in the upper echelon of mountain bikes and more valuable than most sold in stores.

Ryan said the police through the beginning of the week had not identified a suspect. He said there were no witnesses. Investigators obtained the bicycle’s serial number. Ryan said the bicycle had not been outfitted with a seat. The bike is red and black.

Ryan said it is unclear whether someone planned to take the bicycle beforehand or if the thief saw an opportunity after seeing the bike.

He said investigators are looking for someone with that model who does not appear to be a top-flight mountain biker.

"An individual that has that bike may not be the kind of individual who (normally) has something that costly," Ryan said, adding there is a better chance to catch a suspect since the model is uncommon.

He said the person may have taken the bicycle to use it or sell its parts. If the parts are sold, the police might receive tips, Ryan said.

"When they start selling parts — that leads to suspicion," he said.

The case is believed to be the most significant involving a mountain bike since late summer 2007, when thieves twice ripped bicycles off car-roof racks as the cars were parked in lots on Park Avenue. One of the bicycles was worth $3,000. The police priced the other case at $4,000, with the person losing the bike and the rack.

The Police Department this week did not immediately provide the status of the earlier cases.

Todd Henneman, who manages the bicycle shop at Jans Mountain Outfitters, a local chain of outdoors stores, said it is likely the person who took the Trek understands its value. He said some thieves search for high-end bicycles like the one taken.

"They’re gone and people part them out," Henneman said, noting that certain pieces of the bicycle, including the wheel set, the front fork and the drive train, are valuable.

Jans carries the Trek model that was stolen, and Henneman said the stores sell about two each year. He said bicycles in the $6,000 price range are "not rare" in Park City. He said it will be difficult to find the bicycle, especially if the thief steals bikes regularly.

Henneman suggested people secure their bicycles with cable locks, but owners should be cautious to loop cable locks around the different parts of the bicycle that a thief could take.

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