INSIDE EDITION Investigates Bicycle Theft
Bike theft is a national problem. According to the latest FBI statistics, 179,000 bikes were stolen in 2010. Shannon Southwood, from Sacramento, California, has had 5 bikes stolen in just three months
"It's affected me and everyone that I know," Southwood told Inside Edition.
So could we catch a bike thief? With a little help from some high tech gadgets, INSIDE EDITION was about to find out.
First stop, Mike's Bikes in Sacramento, where we picked up a high-end, brand new bike. The owner, Matt Adams, warned it would be a prime target for thieves.
"Bike theft in Sacramento is a huge problem. Customers come in all the time with their bikes being stolen," said Adams.
Right after we received the bike we had tracking devices installed by security expert Jason Cecchettinii, from Baitbike.com. The devices would allow us to monitor the bike's location if it was stolen.
"Even if we can't see him, we will we be able to track him?" Guerrero asked Cecchettini.
Cecchettini responds, "Yes, we'll be right behind him and he won't even know it."
Guerrero then took the bike to a shopping center and locked it up.
The INSIDE EDITION I-Squad was watching the bait bike in a surveillance van nearby.
During the day, it attracted a lot of attention, but when day turned to night, that's when the thieves came out
Out of nowhere a guy came out brazenly carrying a huge bolt cutter. He tried to cut our lock, but has no luck.
The next day we were back at the shopping center, and once again when it got dark, the action heats up. We found a couple that appeared to be working together. They walk over to our bike, cut the lock and in seconds, off they went. But they have no idea the I-Squad was on the case.
Cecchettini was tracking every movement of the suspected thieves.
"We're tracking it on the iPad using the GPS. It shows that he's heading northbound on 17th St," Cecchettini told Guerrero.
Guerrero asked, "Are we going to be able to catch up with this couple right away?"
Ceccettini responded, "There's absolutely no chance they are going to be able to get away."
Just a few minutes later Guerrero spotted the suspected thieves and jumped out of the van to confront them. We found a man holding our bike but his female accomplice was nowhere around.
"Hi, I'm Lisa Guerrero from INSIDE EDITION, this is my bike and you just stole it."
The suspected thief said, "Ok."
Guerrero: "Ok? Why did you steal our bike. This isn't your bike. Why did you steal it?"
Suspect: "Because it was sitting there in a bush."
Guerrero: "It wasn't sitting there, it was locked up."
So we had to call the cops.
After looking at our footage of the theft, the police arrested 30-year-old Steven Nance without a fight. He's charged with grand theft and possession of stolen property. If convicted he faces two years in prison.
So bike thieves beware, INSIDE EDITION's I-Squad may be coming to your town next.