Classified Ad Leads to Serial Bike Thief, But That's not All

Provo Police

PROVO, Utah (ABC4 News) - Police arrested a Provo woman Tuesday night after she was found to have stolen several bicycles and selling them online.

Brigham Young University student Emily Jorgensen relies on her bicycle to get around the BYU campus.  So she invested her money to purchase a bicycle 6-months ago for $850.  

On Tuesday she parked her bicycle in the bike rack where she normally does on campus and headed off to class.  When she came back she found that it was missing.

"When I went down to the bike rack where I usually put it it was just gone, the lock was like cut," said Emily Jorgensen.  

So she filed a police report online and then called the bike manufacturer to get the serial number to report it to police.

"I had a lot of thoughts going through my mind like, ugh, why did this happen to me? I’ve parked it there so many times., and I was just hoping I could get it back because it was worth a lot of money," she said.  

She also looked online and found her bike on Classifieds. 

"It was right there so I kinda freaked out and was like, 'that's my bike!" she said.

She immediately called police, Officer Travis Bushman with the Provo Police Department took the case. 

"At that point she did not have the serial number.  She had told me about the ad that she had found on KSL and at that point our biggest concern is to get some type of identifying marks to prove that the bike was hers," said Ofc. Bushman.  "While I was on the phone with her she was able to get the serial number from the manufacturer which helped our investigation immensely."

The ad stated the bike was on sale for $400.  Once Provo Police were able to get confirmation that the bike was hers they began the work to retrieve it.  

"I utilized our special enforcement team, our plain clothes detectives division, and we ended up setting up an operation to meet with the person selling the bike at the location," added Bushman.

The seller was 36 year-old Theresa Salazar.  Police say Emily's stolen bike wasn't the only thing she had in her possession.

"Through our investigation we found an additional nine other bikes at different locations that were stolen bicycles," he said. 

They also found Salazar to be in possession of several stolen credit cards.  She was booked into jail facing several charges including a Class A Misdemeanor for Emily's stolen bike and a Third Degree Felony for the credit cards.  Provo Police say more charges could come if they can link the other stolen bicycles to their owners. 

To help protect your property Provo Police offering this tip. 

"We offer bike registration through our city for a dollar which records the serial number so that if it does get stolen we have that serial number to check through our database whether it be through our pawn database which often times will have bikes getting pawned at pawnshops or where its a seller on KSL where we can actually prove that that bike is stolen," says Bushman.

They also recommend you get a good bike lock.  

Police then notified Emily and she was able to pick up her bicycle from the Police Department.  

"I was really grateful for how quick they responded," she said.  "I didn't think it would be that fast."


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