Tempe police arrest suspected bicycle thieves, recover 30-plus bikes

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Tanya Mendis

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 13 at 9:54 AM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tempe police have arrested three people suspected of stealing and selling bicycles and bike parts in and around Tempe.

The investigation into bike thefts and the trafficking of stolen goods began in the middle of January.

During "Operation: Bike Peddler," police obtained information that Loren Henderson, 46, was involved in trading drugs for stolen bikes and fraudulent/stolen identity items, according to Sgt. Mike Pooley.

Officers arrested Henderson for drug crimes, misconduct involving weapons and resisting arrest.

Police also arrested Jeffrey Barthold, 51, and Brian Meier, 50.

During the course of the operation, seven search warrants were served and more than 30 bicycles were recovered, many of which have been confirmed stolen and returned to their owners, Pooley said. One of the recovered bicycles was valued at $11,000 and was being marketed on eBay.

Police said they found drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs, heroin and methamphetamine during the service of the search warrants. Officers also recovered electronics and other property believed to be stolen.

Pooley said bike owners who register, photograph, etch, record the serial number in a safe place at home or otherwise take proactive crime prevention steps have a significantly higher chance of recovering stolen property. Register your bike with the city of Tempe at www.tempe.gov/registeryourbike.
 

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