HOUSTON — There has been a rash of break-ins at several Houston-area bike shops in the last three weeks and investigators believe the same crew may behind all of them.
Three men use a crowbar to break-in through the front door and are out of the stores within three minutes with as many bikes as they can pack in their getaway vehicle.
Authorities believe the crew is responsible for at least four burglaries.
On June 27, Sugar Cycles in Missouri City was hit around 1:30 a.m.
At 4:30 a.m. the same day, Society Cycle Works was burglarized in Sugar Land with an estimated loss of $50,000.
On July 18, Bikeland in The Woodlands was struck and lost an estimated $30,000 in bikes. The crooks used a truck and a van. Owner Jeff Chaffin says the two vehicles were actually parked at a nearby gas station next to a Shenandoah police car just moments earlier.
On July 21, Pearland Bicycles became the latest victim. Because of the streak of break-ins, the store preventatively removed some higher-end bikes from the showroom floor. Still, the store estimates it lost $30,000 to $40,000 in merchandise, including customer bikes left for repair.
In the most recent case, the crooks used a box truck.
“The vehicle they used, we did get a license plate of it. I don't know if it was stolen or not, so that's some evidence. They left some gloves in the store, some disposable gloves," Pearland Bicycles owner Daryl Catching said.
Store employees said the recent crime streak is pretty unusual.
The Brazoria County Sheriff's Office is contacting all the different agencies involved in the crimes to investigate.
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