44 stolen bikes recovered in Minneapolis thanks to alert neighbor, police say

MINNEAPOLIS - An alert neighbor tipped Minneapolis police off to a stash of stolen high-end bicycles, reports CBS Minnesota.

It was foot traffic near a home that tipped the neighbor off.

"When they started recognizing all these high end bikes coming through from very young individuals, that kind of sparked that curiosity," said Sgt. Brian Andrews with Minneapolis police.

A bit of investigating and a search warrant led officers to the discover a stash of 44 bikes in a Minneapolis home. Authorities believe the home served as a drop off point where stolen bikes are taken and then re-sold.

"There were approximately 18 in the living room, there were 24 out in a detached garage, 3 in the attic, 4 in the basement, so they were spread out throughout the house," Andrews said.

Police believe all 44 recovered bikes had been stolen, reports the station.

Officers arrested 22-year-old Maurico Genchi-Palma on suspicion of receiving stolen property. He has not been officially charged with a crime, and he told police he did not steal the bikes.

"He is just an individual that would pay a small amount of money for bikes, and word got out and people would just show up with bikes," Andrews said.

Police say Genchi-Palma would turn around and sell the bikes, which he bought for just $20 to $40 each, on Craigslist.

Some 14 months ago, Minneapolis police began a new bike registration program.

"As of this morning, we have 4,269 bicycles registered with the city," said John Elder, the Minneapolis public information officer.

With tens of thousands of bicyclists in one of the country's biggest cycling cities, police hope more will join the registry.

So far, police have been able to track down some of the owners of the stolen high-end bikes because they were registered.

The bikes that go unclaimed will end up in the Minneapolis Police Property Warehouse where they will eventually be auctioned off, reports the station.

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