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Watch: Suspected Thieves Boldly Rip Off $5,000 Bikes

Three men are being sought by Long Beach Police Department in the thefts of top-end BMX and road bikes from a popular, 99-year-old bicycle shop, which is using social media to catch them.

Jones Bicycles of Belmont Shore has used social media before to catch their only other thieves. And the community rallied and tracked down local youths who bolted down the stairs with $100 skateboards last year.

So when a trio of bandits brazenly rolled $5,000 in bikes right out the front door before the Thursday lunch rush was over, the Long Beach institution put the surveillance footage on YouTube and its Facebook page.

Watch as three men enter and appear to case the shop.

"Looking at it now, you can tell they knew what they were doing, and had done it before somewhere," Jones store manager Steven Davis said Monday.

"It was busy but they came in right at a shift change, so it was something where I was helping somebody and the other sales person on the floor was talking to one of the three guys, who was the distraction," Davis said. "It was well-played, they knew what they were doing." 

Two bikes were positioned near the door, and then rolled very quickly out. In seconds they were gone. "One was a Giant road bike and the other was a racing BMX youth bike," Davis said. "I would say the BMX was $525 and the road bike was around $4,500."

The video grabs show the suspects' faces quite clearly.

Had such a brazen theft happened before? Davis said just once, about a year ago. The store is mostly filled on the ground floor with bicycles, and then up a wide staircase in the center of the shop are more bikes, kiddy specialty vehicles, and an array of skateboards.

"These younger kids about a year ago came running downstairs with boards in hand and went flying out the door and we went right after them," recalled Davis of the boys who were 15 and 16 years old. But they were gone. Jones Bicycle posted its surveillance camera footage on Facebook.

"We had a really good turnout of people who knew the kids, we got the boards back, and talked to the (kids') family, talked to the kids, [and] one of the kids' youth pastor," Davis said. "We didn't press charges but the family definitely came in and apologized and said they were gonna take care of it. We let them;  the boards themselves were like $100.... We put it on Facebook, and got a very local response, and thats what we also hoped when we put the pictures online this time."

Watch the YouTube video and if you recognize any of the suspects, call and report it to Long Beach Police Department, 562-435-6711.

Have you ever bought a bike at Jones? Tell us in comments.

Johnny Utah August 14, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I don't understand why Jones' bicycles doesn't have a theft system like most retail outlets do? Putting merchandise on the floor without locking them up or not putting tags on them does not make sense. As a loss prevention specialist, you need to be aware of these kind of thugs and provide them with more customer service. Never suggest they are stealing, but offer them other accessories, helmets, etc to make them aware that you know what's going on. It's sad that it happened, but educate your employees.
hf2hvit August 14, 2012 at 05:16 PM
They were in there all that time and nobody asked if they needed help...lousy customer service led to this...
Dave Newell August 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
2nd Street is such a HUGE target for thieves. I helped catch three in one day last year and have the picture to prove it. First they did a little shopping, and then moved onto cars on the island. I caught them in front of my place looking into my friends car. LBPD was there in 30 seconds.
Kimberly George August 14, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Wow..idiots ..your busted ..
Jones Bicycles August 17, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Not true. The store was short-staffed that day and the employees who were working were helping other customers in the store. The store is large and multi-level. Other than having eyes in the backs of their heads, there was nothing more the staff could do. They were outnumbered. Jones Managament.
Jones Bicycles August 17, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Not true. The store was short-staffed that day and the employees who were working were helping other customers in the store. The store is large and multi-level. Other than having eyes in the backs of their heads, there was nothing more the staff could do. They were outnumbered. Jones Managament.
Jones Bicycles August 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The merchandise closest to the door is locked up. It is not feasible to lock every bike in the store, nor would that look very appealing to our customers. If you can recommend an inventory shrinkage control system, please contact us. This theft was largely the result of bad timing for us. The store was short staffed and our employees were outnumbered. The staff was helping other customers at the time. The thieves took advantage of this.
Michael Smith August 17, 2012 at 02:16 PM
2nd St. is a haven for bike theives in general. My 11 year old son stepped into Powells for less than five minutes (stupidly not locking his bike), and his $600 bike was jacked.

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