Bicycle shops see increase in thefts, burglaries — some losing up to 50K worth in bikes

HOUSTON – Bicycles have been in high demand since the start of the pandemic, even thieves are desperate to get their hands on them.

Surveillance cameras at Pearland Bicycles showed three crooks break into the shop at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Video shows the men pulling up to the business in a white truck. Video shows one the thieves getting out with a crowbar to pry open the glass door, causing it to shatter.

“They spend about a minute working on the door with the crowbar to get it open and once they got in they just started scattering and grabbing bikes. Looks like one of them, he went to the restroom,” said Pearland Bicycles owner Daryl Catching.

The burglars stole around 20 bikes within minutes. Catching said he lost roughly $40,000 in the burglary.

“Several of the bikes were sold to be picked up,” he said. “That stinks a little bit. So now you have to replace a bike that was already sold.”

Bicycles are already tough to come by and supply is not as high as the demand. KPRC 2 learned that in May, while doing a story with Society Cycle Works owner Jennie Leveritt, her shop was visited by thieves on June 27, the same night Sugar Cycles in Missouri City was hit.

“There were three guys, which is same as our videos with similar hats and movement, body profile. It’s very, very similar,” Leverett said after watching the break-in at Pearland Bicycles.

Leveritt said the thieves made off with at least eight bikes valued at $50,000 within two minutes. Three other bike shops confirmed to KPRC 2 that they were robbed within the last month. There were two shops in Shenandoah and one in San Antonio.

“There’s enough of them stolen, between us and the other couple shops that have been robbed,” Catching said. “One of their bikes should turn up somewhere and maybe that will lead to whoever got them.”

The shops have a list of the stolen bikes and their serial numbers. So far, none of them have turned up.