Operation Vicious Cycle Indicts 8 in Big Colorado Bike Theft Ring

File Photo shared by Singletracks member powderski.

As of Wednesday November 17, eight people have been indicted by Colorado’s Attorney General Phil Weiser for 227 counts of alleged crimes including 29 bike shop burglaries, 22 auto thefts, and multiple attempted burglaries around Colorado’s Front Range area between December 2019 and June 2020. The value of the stolen property is roughly $1.5 million.

The group is said to have planned burglaries over Facebook Messenger and would run burglaries with about four people at a time. Their methodology was consistent: the suspects stole box trucks or vans and rammed them into the windows of bike shops or they would break out the front windows and B-line for high end bikes. A press release from the attorney general says that they would transfer the goods to another vehicle and out of the country.

In one burglary, the suspects stole $90,000 worth of bikes in less than five minutes. The group also targeted some of the same bike shops multiple times. Giant Cycling World in Littleton and Totally Wired Cyclery were robbed more than once.

The attorney general notes prosecutors have credible evidence the group worked with “fences,” which sell the stolen goods. The approximate value of the stolen bikes is $985,000, and the suspects stole more than a quarter-million dollars in vehicles, and property damage to vehicles and business was nearly the same amount.

“Auto thefts and property crimes have increased significantly during the last two years. 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. We will hold these individuals to account for their actions and harm they caused to the victims and our communities,” Attorney General Weiser said.

Colorado mountain bike brand Guerrilla Gravity was one of the most recent victims and five showroom display bikes were taken from their showroom on the night of November 8.

“Normally we like when bikes fly off the shelves, but this isn’t exactly what we had in mind,” said Guerrilla Gravity on their Instagram page.

The attorney general’s office partnered with multiple agencies for the investigation, including the Boulder Police Department and district attorney’s office, the Denver and Littleton police departments, the FBI, and various state task forces.

“This was a complex investigation that would not have been possible were it not for the great work of everyone involved and the phenomenal collaboration of all of these agencies,” Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said. “The City of Boulder experiences over one million dollars in bike theft yearly, causing significant community harm. This investigation and subsequent arrests are not only a good example of the hard work and dedication of what detectives do every day, but it also shows the community how seriously we take these crimes.”