|Johnny Sprockets was burglarized early Sunday, the latest North Side bike shop to be targeted. | Google|
Burglars broke into the Lakeview location of the Johnny Sprockets bicycle shop chain early Sunday and made off with more than $5,000 worth of specialty bikes, Chicago police said.
The break-in is the latest in a string of crimes targeting high-end cycle shops on the North Side since mid-January.
Surveillance video captured images of three men as they broke into the shop at 3140 North Broadway and took four pricey bikes from wall displays at 5:33 a.m. Among the stolen rides were two black Diverge Specialized bikes, a green Diverge Elite, and a fourth bike of unknown make and model.
Video showed the men taking the bikes south on Broadway and then east on Barry toward the lakefront. The offenders are described as three men who were covered head-to-toe in clothing. One wore a black hoodie, black jacket, black pants, and gray shoes. Another wore a black jacket, gray hoodie, and gray pants. While the third wore a black jacket with gray pants.
In nearby Lincoln Square, the Turin bike shop at 4710 North Damen has been burglarized three times since Jan. 12th — most recently last Tuesday.
On Jan. 28th, police issued a community alert warning bike retailers of the emerging pattern after Turin and Cycle Smithy at 2468 North Clark were burglarized within days of each other.
The thieves have been entering stores by breaking through front door glass and even cutting through new metal gates that Turin installed after their second break-in last month. All of the break-ins have been happening between 3:30 a.m. and 6 a.m.
One CWBChicago reader recently suggested that bike shops may want to let the air out of their display tires to make it more difficult for thieves to ride the stolen merchandise away. Let’s hope the culprits are caught before it gets to that point.
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