On Jan. 13, Texas authorities announced that a high-end bicycle theft ring that allegedly resulted in $70,000worth of stolen property was busted. Four individuals who were accused of being involved were identified as a 20-year-old woman, a 30-year-old man, a 34-year-old man and a 49-year-old man. The men were reportedly in custody, though the accused woman was not.
Authorities reported that the alleged thefts began in November when someone rented a bike from an Austin bike shop. The bike was never returned. The authorities reportedly began an investigation and connected this theft to a string of similar incidents that had been occurring in numerous cities throughout Texas. The police noted that the Austin bike shop had been targeted several times.
The cities that were targeted included Austin, Houston and Richardson, among others. Austin bike shops reported losses of $16,000, and Houston reported losses of $10,000. Richardson reportedly had losses that were estimated at $15,000. Other cities to report bike thefts included Allen, Flower Mound, San Antonio and Coppell. Authorities noted that the bike thefts were still under investigation, and information was still being requested from anyone who may have knowledge of the incidents.
The severity of theft charges in Texas depend upon the amount that was allegedly stolen. If the amount that was allegedly stolen was more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, the accused person could be charged with a third-degree felony. Someone charged with a felony may face a prison sentence and serious fines. However, there are a number of defenses depending on the evidence against the defendant. For instance, the accused person may have stolen the items while under duress or the property the person was accused of stealing was not actually stolen.
Source: KEYE, “Police bust statewide high-end bicycle theft ring”, Jan. 13, 2015
Source: Findlaw, ‘Texas Theft / Larceny Laws”, Accessed on Jan. 16, 2015