Cycling enthusiast creates Facebook group to help recover stolen bikes

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by Tim Wetzel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 10:34 PM

HOUSTON -- When Spencer Elliott saw about a dozen or so of his friends get their bikes stolen, he decided to do something about it.

He created the Stolen Bike Hunt - Houston Facebook page.

"It's for basically when someone gets a bike stolen, they can throw a picture up and have it for everyone else to see," said Elliott. "If they spot [the bike], we can message each other and get it back."

With more than 1,900 cycling enthusiasts as members, the page equals a lot of eyes on the road.

Members can call police or contact the real owners if they spot a stolen bike.

Since starting his page, Elliott says it has helped recover at least a dozen stolen bicycles and led to one arrest.

Brooke Bechtel thought she'd never see her bright pink and green bike again when it was stolen last year. She put a picture on the website and within a few months it was found.

"I was really surprised," said Bechtel. "It was probably one of the happiest moments of my life."

Elliott also posts tips on ways to secure and protect bicycles on the page.

It's a simple solution to help fight crime using the power of social media.

"It feels really good, it's nice to get [a bike] back," said Elliott. "There's nothing worse than a bike thief."

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