7 On Your Side: Bike-boosting bandits wanted in brazen daylight thefts

They're the busiest bike-boosting duo we've ever seen. In just a few weeks, the pair is suspected of hitting at least eight pro bike shops.

The NYPD says they're looking for the suspects in a larceny pattern after three New York City bike shops reported being ripped off, and professional bike shops from Wappinger's Falls and Rosendale, New York, as well as in Westfield, New Jersey and Greenwich, Connecticut, reported similar crimes describing the same couple captured on video tape allegedly stealing bikes.

This team isn't targeting your average cycle. They're riding off with bikes worth more than some cars. We're talking the Ferraris of bicycles.

7 On Your Side first got wind of these brazen thieves when a bike shop manager in Brooklyn posted a video on our Facebook page.

He thought his was the only store to encounter the couple. They posed as customers before he says they rode off on the high-end bike of a longtime customer, worth about $15,000

But after sharing the video of these free-wheeling fraudsters, the manager realized this same team been spotted, recorded and almost caught all over the Tri-State area.

Manager Boris Shpizel's customer had just parked his custom-made specialized cycle against the wall. It was April 28 at 3:22 p.m. on a busy day at Roy's Sheepshead Cycle in Brooklyn.

A man is seen on surveillance videotape eyeing the bike before getting a signal from a female suspect inside. Then he makes his move.

She is seen talking into a microphone attached to earbuds before quickly moving to block the customer's view out the door. The male accomplice then pushes the bike, hops on and starts pedaling away.

"He was devastated. I thought he was gonna kill somebody, " says Shpizel.

He told us the couple, who only spoke Spanish, was in the store for about half an hour.

The female was asking questions, he says, while the male was captured on camera removing a $12,000 bike from a holder and placing it near the shop exit. That's before she alerted him there was an easier, and more expensive bike already outside in the alleyway.

"Watch how he rides out," says the store manager, watching the surveillance video again. "I wish he got hit by a car. He goes right through the middle of the street without looking. It took them 10 seconds to steal something that was worth $15,000. That's not a bad payday. And if you add up the other stores, they got $50-60,000 worth of stuff in less than a minute."

The NYPD says on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at Sids Bike NYC at 151 West 19th Street an unidentified male and female looked at numerous bicycles inside the store. The female walked a Cannondale bike to the entrance and handed it to the male before they both left. They got away with a $4,200 bike.

Other bike shops report the following thefts: On April 23 at 3:00 p.m. the couple was allegedly spotted at Jay's Cyclery in Westfield, New Jersey. A female walks into the store and talks to an employee while a male makes off with a bike worth $6,000.

And on May 6, witnesses say, the couple is at it again. At around the same time as the other thefts - 3:08 p.m. - they successfully steal another $6,000 cycle, this one from Favata's TRT Bicycles in Rosendale, NY.

"It's baffling that they can get away with hitting multiple shops in the area!" said Alex Carlson, the manager of Bikeway in Wappinger's Falls.

Carlson couldn't believe his eyes when he says the very same woman in a wanted poster released by police entered his store. She stares at a bike for a several minutes. Then, right in front of a little girl, he takes the bike off the wall and just walks out the door with it. It was all captured by the store surveillance camera.

"She just wheels it out the door and takes off in 10 seconds," Carson said.

A week later, an employee at their sister store in Montgomery snapped a picture of a woman acting suspiciously at the register. It is the same woman now pictured on an NYPD wanted poster. She allegedly came back to Bikeway a second time.

"She came back in through the front door and recognized herself in the wanted poster, so she turned around and walked out," Carson said.

She almost got caught. But so far the suspects are too coordinated and too quick, managing to spin off with the boosted bikes.

"They've thought about all these details enough," Carson lamented. "They've been able to do it multiple times and get away with it."

Here are a few clues to help catch these suspects, who are wanted for questioning:

1) Witnesses says the female is always on the phone. Usually shes wears a headset, with ear buds and speaks Spanish into a microphone on the wire held close to her mouth.

2) The Getaway Car: Witnesses report a black SUV, possibly a Dodge Caravan, leaving the scene with no License plates.

Anyone with information in regard to the identities of the male and female is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

The public can also submit tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips.


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