A thief rolled a $500 bicycle out of a downtown bike shop and police hope to put his test drive to an end. It’s normal for the staff at Phat Tire bike shop to let customers take a bike out for a quick ride. They still do that but now they take some precautions.
The Phat Tire bike shop has hundreds of high-end bikes and it's not unusual to have people do some shopping before they spend at least $500 or more on a new ride.
So, when one man walked in the door and looked around, the employees thought he seemed like a typical customer.
"He seemed like a bike enthusiast and a normal guy. Didn't expect it," said Service Manager Jake Bohrer.
They didn't expect he would pick out a bike for a test ride and never come back. He settled on a Trek Marlin Model 5. It sells for a little more than $500.
"So he test rode another model bike and came back. Said he liked it. Then he test drove this Marlin 5, and 10-20 minutes go by, and we start to get worried, and he just never came back," Bohrer said.
It happened last week, but police hope someone will recognize the man and let them know who he is. Other than the picture, they have one other piece of evidence, his old bike. It's not worth much as evidence or as a bike.
“He left his old clunker of a bike, and got one of our new ones,” Bohrer said.
Now the staff is asking customers to leave their wallet or phone behind before they go out on a test ride, hoping to prevent someone else from walking in and rolling out.
The store is hoping someone might recognize the old bike or the pretend customer and call police.