Minneapolis man accused of using teens in bike theft ring - KMSP-TV

Minneapolis man accused of using teens in $50,000 bike theft ring

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

The Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd Precinct looks an awful lot like a bike shop after officers busted a theft ring that swiped an estimated $50,000 worth of cycles and sold them for $70 to $100 apiece.

Investigators believe 22-year-old Mauricio Genchi was calling the shots, and when the CERT team raided his home on Wednesday, they found 20 high-end bikes costing more than $3,000 each in his living room and 20 more in his garage. Police also found a couple bicycles in the attic and a few more in the basement. There were so many bikes, they needed to bring in a flatbed truck to haul them away.

The tip off came when neighbors noticed a bunch of 13- and 14-year-old kids coming up to the door with bikes, looking for Genchi. They would leave without the bicycle, and detectives believe Genchi offered the youths $20 or some marijuana before turning around and selling the bikes for $70 to $100 -- sometimes from the very person the bike was stolen from. Those people had posted pictures of their stolen bikes on popular biking websites and offered $100 bucks cash, no questions asked.

"Went to the grocery store, it was on the porch," Celia McCoy recalled.

When McCoy returned from the store on Saturday, her $1,000 bicycle was stolen. The first shock came when an officer showed up at her door that day to take her report, but the second came on Wednesday night. The officer came back.

"Showed me, on his phone, a picture of my bike from all those found in that garage," McCoy said.

With Minneapolis being one of America's biggest biking cities, the crime is really hitting close to home for neighbors.

"I think it's just terrible -- something extra personal, stealing someone's bike," McCoy said. "Car, you put gas in and go. Bike, you power with you, so you put yourself into it."

Police hope to return the bikes to their rightful owners, but they admit it's not likely. Anyone who believes one of the stolen bikes may be theirs can call Minneapolis 311 or the 3rd Precinct, and it will help if the bicycle is registered or if the owner has a serial number. The unclaimed bicycles will end up at an auction.

Resources:

- Minneapolis Police Department: Bike Theft

- Minneapolis Stolen Bikes on Facebook

- Stolen Bike MPLS on Twitter

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