High-end bicycles are an easy target for thieves in Ahwatukee Foothills, according to local police officers.

“High-end bicycles have an easy market for resale,” said Sgt. Joel Tranter of the Phoenix Police Department. “It is a prized commodity. They have no problem reselling the bicycles.”

In the last month Phoenix police arrested a man who was targeting Ahwatukee looking for open garages with high-end bikes inside. He was tied to several incidents in the area.

Tranter said his advice to residents is to always keep the garage closed but for even more protection, lock bikes up on a rack or eyebolt even inside the garage.

“That may sound like an extreme, locking your bicycle inside your garage, but if you leave that garage door open and your garage unattended, there are people looking for those expensive bicycles and they will be in and out of your garage in a matter of seconds,” Tranter said.

Local bike shops have also been targeted. Recently, Cactus Bikes in Ahwatukee was broken into in the middle of the night. The thieves made off with two rare mountain bikes, one worth $5,000, the other worth $3,000.

“They specifically went for those bikes,” said CJ Culley, owner of Cactus Bike. “It was the most expensive bike I had in my store. It’s very rare and I cannot replace it currently.”

The two bikes that were taken are a 2013 Intense 951, size large, white color; and a 2014 Kona Process 134, medium size, black in color. The store does have serial numbers on the bikes to help identify them and video footage of the men who broke into the shop.

The owners are hoping the bikes are rare enough that someone will see them and recognize them and help police track down those who took them. In the mean time the store has beefed up its security measures and is advising all customers to be aware.

“Be very vigilant,” Culley said. “Make sure they are being locked up... We thought we had taken measures to prevent these things before but good news bad news, they showed us our weak points and we’re locking those up even more now. This is somebody who knows what they are stealing. Unfortunately, it’s probably someone in the biking community.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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