CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - A new series of thefts happened this past weekend in what has been a wave of burglaries targeting high-end bicycle shops in Chicago. This, despite recent efforts, to stop the criminals.
Store owners have been talking to each other a lot since the burglaries began in December. Their overall loss is now well over $100-thousand. They're trying to get the message out to help each other and to help anyone who may be in the market to buy a high-end bicycle.
Surveillance cameras captured it all. Shattered pieces of glass fly in and then thieves climb in, ready to grab whatever they can and get out fast. Video shows what happened around 4:30 a.m. Friday. The training center on the near west side has been burglarized three times since December.
"So this is something very interesting, deliberate, organized, from the detective I heard there's actually a plot to fill containers with bikes and send them to China," said Sharone Aharon, Well-Fit Triathlon & Training Owner.
For Sharone Aharon, this last hit was personal. Of the three bicycles taken, one was his own. The repeat burglaries have the bicycle industry in Chicago reeling.
"It's been really difficult to watch this sort of wave of burglaries sweeping through the local bike shop community," said Gene Bruber, Johnny Sprockets Manager.
Johnny Sprockets in Lakeview was targeted Sunday with the same m-o. Thieves busted through two doors to make their way inside, walking out with four Specialized high-end bikes, each worth over a thousand dollars. Management here is now talking about what happened, hoping that others in the industry will take precautions.
"We're trying to share as much information about how the incidents are taking place and the way the thieves are getting in," said Bruber.
All of this happening less than two weeks after FOX 32 first brought you the story. We have video from early February of similar break-ins at Well-Fit and also at BFF Bikes in Bucktown.
Shop owners have a warning to those who may be in the market to buy a high-end bicycle right now to check the serial numbers. They say if the deal's too good to be true, the bike could be stolen.