Bike thieves are a big problem across the United States, especially in Southern California.
So INSIDE EDITION wanted to see how long it would take for a thief to snatch a pricey bike. To do so, Helen’s Cycles, a popular bike shop in Southern California, loaned us a $2,500 Trek mountain bike.
Then, security expert Jason Cecchettini planted hidden GPS and radio tracking devices on the bike.
IE’s Lisa Guerrero locked the bike to a signpost in North Hollywood and soon enough, a man used a wire cutter to break the lock and take off with the bike.
A wild chase ensued through the streets of North Hollywood. Using the tracking devices, we followed the thief to an underground Los Angeles Metro station and found him sitting on the train platform with the bike resting next to him.
“Why did you steal my bike?” Guerrero asked.
“I wanted to get high. I'm an addict,” he admitted.
She replied: “That gives you the right to take someone else's property?”
“No. It doesn't,” he said.
The thief then took off on a train.
Guerrero also locked the bike up on the Venice Beach boardwalk and once the sun went down, the bike attracted lots of interest.
One man walked past the bike five times before pulling out a tool and cutting through the cable lock.
“There he goes. He just took our bike!” Guerrero said as the thief pedaled away.
Again, using GPS, we followed him for two-and-a-half miles to neighboring Marina Del Rey.
“You just stole my bike!” Guerrero said.
But he responded: “I didn't steal this bike. I just saw it here.”
But his story changed when we showed him the video.
“This is the first time you've stolen a bike?” Guerrero asked.
“Yes,” the thief responded.
Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived at the scene and arrested the thief.
One of the officers thanked Inside Edition: “This is great that you guys actually did this,” he said. “You probably got someone off the street that's been doing it for a while.”