FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A young married couple in Fort Collins once again has a tandem bicycle to ride to Colorado State University football games, thanks to Fort Collins Police Services. Tim and Karissa Harris’ tandem bicycle, a wedding gift, was stolen earlier in the year by a serial bike thief.
When the Neighborhood Engagement Team located the bike, and 10 others, in a criminal’s home, they knew it was too damaged to repair. The suspect tore apart the bike, and screwed in parts to try and make the tandem bicycle a motorcycle.
“A lot of damage had been done to that bike,” said officer Rob Knab. “We were like, ‘there’s no way we are letting this wedding present go.’”
Due to the extensive damage, officer Knab and others with the team raised money to purchase a new bike for the couple. CBS4’s Dillon Thomas was there as the couple was given the bike as a surprise.
“I’m just blown away. I can’t stop smiling,” Tim said.
“I did not expect this at all,” Karissa said.
The couple said they expected to see their original bicycle torn beyond repair. However, they were not expecting the department to purchase a new bike for them to use on game days.
“It was kind of our tradition, whenever we would go to a Rams game, we would take the tandem bicycle,” Tim said.
“We really had just got in the habit of starting to ride it a lot, and then the tire went flat, and it got stolen,” Karissa said.
The couple said they believed the suspect was targeting that specific bike. They said it was locked the night it was stolen. The lock itself was gone with the bike in the morning. However, other bicycles on the porch, including some which were not locked, were not taken.
The officers with Fort Collins Police Services said they were thrilled to bring positivity back to the couple amid a trying situation.
“Part of serving is being able to meet a need, or help somebody out,” Knab said. “To be able to further that togetherness puts a smile on my face.”
Fort Collins Police said one way to prevent bike theft, while also increasing your odds of recovering a stolen bike, is to register the bicycle. Fort Collins does accept registrations as does Colorado State University.
Six of the 11 bicycles recovered at the suspect’s home were registered. The owners of the others have not been identified.