(Plain Press, September 2014) A dozen new and used bicycles were stolen from Shaker Cycle at W. 5th and Jefferson in the Tremont neighborhood. Shaker Cycle’s owner, Mitch Paul, says the theft occurred on July 20th while he was helping out at Taste of Tremont offering a secure location for guests to park their bicycles and doing some bicycle repairs. Paul, a Tremont neighborhood resident, moved his bicycle shop to the corner 15 years ago in anticipation of the Canal Corridor Towpath Trail coming through the Tremont neighborhood.
Paul says he discovered the theft the day after the Taste of Tremont when apparently the perpetrators came back to steal more bicycles. He noticed three bicycles parked outside his store on the Jefferson side of the building with the door open. He apprehended two of three youths inside the building pulling more bicycles out of the store. The third youth fled the scene. Paul says when police arrived they found the two youths pockets were filled with bike accessories from his shop. The two youths were arrested for breaking and entering.
Paul, who has no insurance to cover the theft, estimates the value of the dozen new and used bicycles stolen at $4,000. He says some of the bicycles were those of customers that were in for repairs.
Paul says in the fifteen years he has been at W. 5th and Jefferson, this is the worst incident, crime-wise, that he has experienced. He says prior to this, his experience at the location has been relatively crime free.
Tremont West Development Corporation (TWDC), the area’s development corporation, and also the host of Taste of Tremont, is aware of the thefts. Executive Director Cory Riordan notes Mitch Paul was “generous in offering to man the bike parking corral” at Taste of Tremont. When asked about a possible fundraiser to help Mitch Paul recover from the theft, Riordan says TWDC generally doesn’t host such events, but would be willing to serve as a fiscal agent and help promote an event if someone in the community initiated the fundraiser.
Riordan suspects the breaking and entering that occurred during the festival was random “crime of opportunity” done by “kids that knew his schedule.”
Riordan says that TWDC tracks patterns of crimes and has not detected any pattern of break-ins along Jefferson. The TWDC Safety Committee works to keep residents aware when there is a pattern of crime in an area and help to keep these types of things from happening, he said.
Riordan says TWDC will follow up with police on the case. TWDC has a court watch, said Riordan, but he suspects in this case, because juveniles are involved, will either be pleaded out or go to juvenile court.