Moab police investigate rash of mountain bike thefts
Jun 27, 2023, 6:10 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm
MOAB, Utah — Moab City officials say that in one day, thieves stole $22,000 worth of bicycles from tourists.
Moab police Asst. Chief Lex Bell said four bikes were stolen from different areas within Moab City limits, and one other was taken from a Grand County campground.
“They obviously knew what they were looking for because none of these bikes were cheap,” Bell told KSL TV.
Bell said that since Moab is a well-loved destination, visitors bring expensive outdoor equipment and recreation gear. To protect their items, a lock can prevent thieves from stealing them, but Bell says it’s not enough at times.
“It looked like somebody used a pair of high-quality bolt cutters,” he explained.
Bell said two of the five reported stolen bikes were from hotels. One was stolen from a campground.
“All just one itself was a $6,000 bike,” he said. The other four are worth a total of $22,000.
“Whoever did it or whatever group did it knew what they were looking for and possibly scouted it out, and took those they found were vulnerable,” Bell added.
He said those stolen bicycles might be gone forever and across the state.
“I even heard stories that many were recovered in another country,” Bell said.
He said it’s likely all of the bikes were chained outside when they were stolen and weren’t safely secured at the hotels.
“The hotels where the bikes were stored, the lighting wasn’t the best, so we’re going to work with them, to see if we can make those areas a little bit brighter,” Bell said.
Bell said the Moab Police Department is working with hotels and discussing how to prevent these crimes.
“It might be worth them bringing in an extra room to store bikes in that’s locked, inside, covered with cameras,” he said.
In the meantime, Bell recommends people use steel chains with a high-quality padlock and record their bike’s serial number and take a picture of it.
“Anyone around a hotel who saw somebody carrying those and they left with a bike, by all means, we’d a love a telephone call,” Bell expressed.