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Moorhead triathlete Adam Krueger, left, describes the good condition of his high-end Felt F75X bicycle after the stolen bike was returned to him with help from Fargo school resource officer and biking enthusiast Chris Potter. Forum Communications Photo/Dave Wallis,The Forum

Sleuthing returns missing bikes to owners

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News Bemidji,Minnesota 56619 http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/0806/201201011230-z-bike-returned.jpg?itok=tpdbSNI8
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(218) 333-9819 customer support
Sleuthing returns missing bikes to owners
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

MOORHEAD -- Adam Krueger participated in a triathlon to win his fancy new $1,100 Felt F75X bike.

He had perhaps ridden a few blocks in the three weeks he owned it while waiting on parts. In mid-October, he set it against the side of the garage at his friend's home in south Fargo.

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The next time he looked for the bike, it was gone.

Dan Breva had not one but two locks holding his $1,800 Salsa "Fargo" bike to a rack on the back of his truck in the parking lot of AmericInn the evening of Sept. 23.

By the next morning, it, too, was gone.

That's normally the last an owner ever sees of their bike.

But thanks to good communication between Moorhead and Fargo police, social media sleuthing and networking with bike shops and local riders, both of the high-end road runners are back with their owners, said Chris Potter, the school resource officer at Fargo South High.

Krueger's bike was found in some tall grass along the Red River by Moorhead police, but they couldn't find a match on the serial number. They contacted Potter, who has strong ties with the biking community. Craig Benson, owner of Paramount Sports, identified Krueger as the bike's owner. Krueger got his bike back Dec. 8.

Breva's bike required a break.

Potter contacted local riders and worked on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Benson again came through, Potter said. Benson saw an ad on Craigslist offering the Salsa Fargo for $250.

"A Salsa Fargo is a pretty unique bicycle for this area," Potter said, and $250 was "way too cheap for a Salsa Fargo."

Moorhead police set up an undercover buy, and Potter met with the seller on Dec. 15. As a result, juveniles were arrested, Potter said. One of them was later charged in connection with the theft, said Moorhead Police Lt. Brad Penas.

"It worked out very well," he said. Potter said that beyond the uniqueness of the "boutique bikes," the tightknit nature of the biking community got the bikes back to the owners. Both Krueger and Breva are happy to be back in the saddle. Krueger figures it was a prankster or vagrant who used his bike to get to the river. "I never thought I'd see it again," he said. "I lucked out." "They did some good police work," Breva said. Penas and Potter urge everyone to take some simple steps to make sure a thief doesn't take your ride:

E Buy a good quality "U-lock" or lock and cable, and use them.

E Record serial numbers and take digital photos of your bikes.

E Store bikes in a locked garage or shed. Don't leave them unattended.

E Lock bikes in high-traffic areas so thieves will be seen if they attempt to steal them.

Schmidt is a writer for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The Forum and the Bemidji Pioneer are both Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

MOORHEAD -- Adam Krueger participated in a triathlon to win his fancy new $1,100 Felt F75X bike.

He had perhaps ridden a few blocks in the three weeks he owned it while waiting on parts. In mid-October, he set it against the side of the garage at his friend's home in south Fargo.

The next time he looked for the bike, it was gone.

Dan Breva had not one but two locks holding his $1,800 Salsa "Fargo" bike to a rack on the back of his truck in the parking lot of AmericInn the evening of Sept. 23.

By the next morning, it, too, was gone.

That's normally the last an owner ever sees of their bike.

But thanks to good communication between Moorhead and Fargo police, social media sleuthing and networking with bike shops and local riders, both of the high-end road runners are back with their owners, said Chris Potter, the school resource officer at Fargo South High.

Krueger's bike was found in some tall grass along the Red River by Moorhead police, but they couldn't find a match on the serial number. They contacted Potter, who has strong ties with the biking community. Craig Benson, owner of Paramount Sports, identified Krueger as the bike's owner. Krueger got his bike back Dec. 8.

Breva's bike required a break.

Potter contacted local riders and worked on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Benson again came through, Potter said. Benson saw an ad on Craigslist offering the Salsa Fargo for $250.

"A Salsa Fargo is a pretty unique bicycle for this area," Potter said, and $250 was "way too cheap for a Salsa Fargo."

Moorhead police set up an undercover buy, and Potter met with the seller on Dec. 15. As a result, juveniles were arrested, Potter said. One of them was later charged in connection with the theft, said Moorhead Police Lt. Brad Penas.

"It worked out very well," he said. Potter said that beyond the uniqueness of the "boutique bikes," the tightknit nature of the biking community got the bikes back to the owners. Both Krueger and Breva are happy to be back in the saddle. Krueger figures it was a prankster or vagrant who used his bike to get to the river. "I never thought I'd see it again," he said. "I lucked out." "They did some good police work," Breva said. Penas and Potter urge everyone to take some simple steps to make sure a thief doesn't take your ride:

- Buy a good quality "U-lock" or lock and cable, and use them.

- Record serial numbers and take digital photos of your bikes.

- Store bikes in a locked garage or shed. Don't leave them unattended.

- Lock bikes in high-traffic areas so thieves will be seen if they attempt to steal them.

Schmidt is a writer for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The Forum and the Bemidji Pioneer are both Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

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