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This crook is on a roll after stealing 18 bikes from Vanderbilt Av shop

The Brooklyn Paper
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Eighteen bike owners were facing life in the slow lane on Monday after their beloved wheels were swiped while being rehabbed in a Prospect Heights bike shop.

The bikes — along with over $4,000 in brand new locks, saddles and pedals — were taken during two daring basement break-ins at Brooklyn Bike and Board on Vanderbilt Avenue between Dean and Bergen Streets.

The stolen two wheelers ranged from a 10-year-old Schwinn getting a tune-up for the summer to two pricey 2010 models, assistant manager Ryan Dausch explained.

“[The customers] were shocked, but were very understanding except for one guy who called the police on us,” Dausch said. “The cops showed up and we had to show them the police report we filed that morning.”

Since most of the stolen wheels were older bikes undergoing repairs, owners will be reimbursed with bikes that have been rebuilt at the store, Dausch explained. The ones with newer models will be offered something comparable.

Workers said the break-in happened after closing on June 4. But they did get an early warning, albeit a small one when, one week earlier, a single bike disappeared from the basement, Dausch said.

The disappearance was a bit of a mystery, though it should not have been, given that the basement door isn’t accessible from the shop, but only from the hallway leading to the upstairs apartments.

The thief had apparently been buzzed into the apartment building, then forced open the door to the basement.

Dausch and his workers’ suspicions were confirmed early Saturday morning when they showed up for work and learned that someone — possibly the same person who took a bike a week earlier — had snapped the lock to the basement door and plucked bikes right off their racks.

Employees re-fortified the basement door — this time with two locks — but the brazen burglar returned the following night, pulling the door right off its hinges, they told police.

The thief made off with the locks, pedals and seats, but must have been frightened off. Two bikes were found in the hallway in mid-rollout.

“We’re reinforcing all the locks and speaking with some companies about installing our own cameras, and spreading the word via internet and phone calls to neighboring shops,” Brooklyn Bike and Board owner Brian Gluck wrote on the store Web page on Monday. “May god strike this man down as I write this.”

Gluck may mean that literally; he recently made a video promoting his store wearing a shirt reading, “Bike thieves shot on sight.”

As the investigation continues, Dausch is hopeful the stolen bikes will be recovered.

“We’ve been scanning Craigslist and called other shops, asking them to keep an eye out for them,” Dausch explained. “But they’re probably going to end up in a yard sale in Staten Island.”

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Reader Feedback

Brian from Crown Heights says:
There's a crew who sell used bikes at the corner of Albany Ave. and Herkimer in Crown Heights... there used to be a sort abandoned looking building they used with a pile of junked bikes on the lot behind it. Now they just sort of sell their stuff on the sidewalk near there. I once caught one of the guys trying to make off with my bike wheels. Might be worth a look.
June 9, 2010, 9:17 am
Jon from Windsor Terrace says:
I recently had my bike repaired there and it was returned to me in wonderful shape. They did not rake me over the coals. The staff seem really cool and running a business in NYC is hard enough without dealing with break-ins. I feel terrible and hope they have ample insurance. It would make me happy if something terrible happens to the thieves. Unless they were stealing the bikes for baby formula. Not likely. Thankfully no one was hurt. I happen to be in the market for a new seat, bell, and lock. I will make sure I spend my hard earned money at Brooklyn Bike and Board!
June 9, 2010, 11:02 am
robert moses from bay ridge says:
When I was a kid, there was a whack job in my neighborhood that used to hide between cars, and then jump out and clothesline bike riders and steal their bikes. I guess this story is proof that things are better than they used to be.
June 9, 2010, 12:51 pm
Leonard from Maplewood says:
You should scan around the local Chinese restaurants that's usually who they are sold to, or so I was told.
June 9, 2010, 3:37 pm
tony from uws says:
Yes, Chinese make Wanton soup from bikes.
Lets blame a Jews
June 9, 2010, 10:05 pm
Steve Nitwitt from Sheepshead Bay says:
where's Gersh's bicycle
June 10, 2010, 1:03 am
richie rich from parkslope says:
inside job
June 16, 2010, 4:54 pm
Frank from sunset park says:
Check italy bikes are being exported via ships
Aug. 22, 2010, 12:45 pm

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