The “Kingpin” of bike thieves in Portland, Oregon has been arrested thanks to an INSIDE EDITION investigation that tracked a stolen bike through the city.
INSIDE EDITION traveled to Portland, where residents are having a major problem with bike thieves.
Scott Baker, from Bike Gallery, a popular bike shop in the city, said: “I personally think bike theft is an epidemic. Every day I see someone come through the door with something that’s been stolen.”
The Bike Gallery even displays police photos so that employees can recognize any suspected bike thieves who walk through the door.
The store loaned INSIDE EDITION a mountain bike worth $2,000, and security expert Jason Cecchettini from BaitBike.com then planted a radio tracking device in the bike.
We then locked up the bike in downtown Portland and waited.
After a couple of hours, one man approached the bike with a bolt cutter but was unable to get through the lock, so wandered off.
But not too long later, another guy casually approached the bike and quickly cut off the lock before pedaling away. Little did he know, the radio tracking device was monitoring his every move.
INSIDE EDITION followed him through the streets of downtown Portland and alerted the police. As we took chase, the tracking device signaled that he was beneath Interstate Highway 5. There, INSIDE EDITION found bicycle parts strewn about what looked like a chop shop.
Police also arrived on the scene.
“So here's our bike,” INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero said. “As you can see, they've already started to take it apart, just minutes after they stole it.”
The man also took our bike was gone, but we found the bike in pieces.
She went up another man, who said he had not taken it. When cops approached him, they allegedly found smart phones, new electronics and tools on him.
Police arrested him – and it emerged that he was one of the men pictured in the photos at Bike Gallery.
He was identified as Leroy Parsons, who is known as the “Kingpin” of Portland bike thieves. He has 70 mugshots from a variety of charges including bike theft, robbery and drugs.
The police bike task force has been trying to put him behind bars for a while. An officer told IE the arrest was a “big win” for the community.
Authorities have charged Parsons with theft in the first degree by receiving, which is a felony. He's pleaded not guilty.