The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) recovered 15 stolen bicycles from a Birch Bay residence on September 7. The bicycles, mostly mountain bikes and electric bikes, were estimated to be worth $45,000, according to a WCSO social media post.
A 16-year old male was identified as the suspect in the investigation and was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Juvenile Detention under suspicion of first degree possession of stolen property. WCSO spokesperson Deb Slater said that there are no other persons of interest in the case currently.
The arrest was made after someone reported an anonymous tip to 911 on the afternoon of September 6, Slater said. The bicycles are already being returned to the original owners.
In areas like Birch Bay that offer ample recreational opportunities, especially on two wheels, bicycle theft can be a common problem. Slater said that the only way WCSO has been able to quickly return bicycles to their rightful owners is by using serial numbers that are already logged in nationwide databases.
“For bikes to be returned to their owners, a serial number is crucial,” Slater said. “In this instance, the owners of most of the bikes have been identified and deputies have contacted them.”
For bicycle owners who are worried about theft, Slater says the best method for recovery is to register a serial number in national registries such as project529.com, which can be done online.
“The WCSO takes reports of stolen property seriously. By investigating cases like this and making arrests, we are holding those responsible accountable,” Slater said. “We urge the public to report suspicious activity and make reports of stolen property.”
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