BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Worries about coordinated, high-end bicycle thefts are spreading amongst bike shop owners in Boulder County after several similar burglaries over the last three months. Security footage from the Boulder Cycle Sport on North Broadway shows thieves passing off bikes in an assembly line after breaking through the windows with rocks.
In just under a minute and a half, the group made off with a number of high-end mountain bikes and gravel bikes, ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 each.
According to a police report, each suspect was wearing gloves and had their hoodies pulled up.
“They got 17 bikes out the window at a value of $87,000,” said Justin Hoese, General Manager and Partner at Boulder Cycle Sport.
According to Hoese, burglaries such as these are becoming a growing concern for people working in the business across Colorado’s Front Range, and many appear to be connected.
“There’s about 10 or 12 different robberies over the last year that are exactly the same,” he said.
Last month, Cenna Custom Cycles in Longmont had six bikes stolen in less than a minute after thieves broke in with rocks, owner Cenna Vaelli told CBS4.
In October, Louisville Cyclery had one bike stolen, but only because the second bike got jammed in the window. According to owner Greg Jones, Louisville police eventually arrested one of the thieves after a two-hour standoff.
“It’s becoming more and more brazen, I guess would be the word,” said Jones. “It doesn’t feel like it’s a simple bike shop theft anymore. It feels very organized.”
Each store now takes extra precautions, such as locking bikes up overnight.
“It appears they’re working on a short period of time, a couple minutes they want to be in and out, so create as many mousetraps as you can,” Jones said.
At Boulder Cycle Sport, insurance will cover some of the costs, but the timing of the thefts — just before Christmas — will hurt the margins.
According to Hoese, most high-end bike theft victims don’t expect to ever see their products again.
“We would assume that they’re leaving the country,” Hoese said. “There is a very high demand down in Mexico and Central America for high end mountain bikes.”
Boulder police did not return CBS4’s calls about the ongoing problem.