Snow job: Police charge man with trying to sell stolen bike as storm begins

PintoTransit Police report arresting a Somerville man around noon on Friday when he showed up with a stolen bike to sell to somebody who turned out to be an undercover cop.

Police say a Davis Square commuter had reported her Specialized Hybrid Globe 1 bike stolen from a station bike rack on Jan. 28 - and that a photo of it had shown up in the for-sale section of Craigslist on Feb. 7:

Detectives communicated with poster of the Craigslist posting via telephone and email where he again offered a woman's Specialized Hybrid Globe 1 bicycle for sale.

On February 8, 2013 (YES, same day as Blizzard 2013) the poster of the advertisement, Phillip Pinto 38 of Somerville set up a meeting with whom he believed was an interested customer. In fact the interested customer Pinto had arranged the meeting with were Transit Police detectives. At approximately noon time as the Blizzard2013 was beginning in earnest Pinto was waiting, bicycle in hand, at the pre-arranged meeting location. (Temple Street, Somerville). Detectives confirmed the serial numbers of the woman's Globe 1 bike Pinto was offering for sale to that of the victim's stolen bicycle. Detectives confiscated the bicycle and placed Pinto into custody for Receiving Stolen Property.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

This Reminds Me

This reminds me of the time that I decided to be a lazy idiot and lock only my front wheel and ended up finding my front wheel was all what's left. I reported to the police despite the general sentiment of the uselessness and I got an email a few weeks later they they recovered my bike. When I went to reclaim it, the stealer apparently installed a new wheel and I think the person did a tune up (and also mean an amusing ride back of carrying my old wheel).

I tried to ask of if and how they caught the guy and how they recovered me bike. They told me they can't tell me while it is still under investigation. So I never follow on that, being happy to just get my bike back.

I wonder if this story with the undercover cops is similar to how they did it. Either way, thank you and keep up the good work.

Curious ...

What, no one asserting they just want the return of the bike and don't care to have the police notified so as to protect their neighborhood? How odd.

Bike registration a good thing

Somerville had/has a voluntary bike registration program that makes finding/recovering stolen bikes easier. If bikes were registered like cars, needing to register a bike and finding it stolen would greatly reduce theft. With many bikes costing as much or more than used cars and motorcycles, yet being far easier to haul off, registration greatly benefits cyclists! Its a good idea that cyclists have little valid reason to oppose.

More than used cars?

Serously?

You haven't looked at used cars lately. Sure, bikes CAN cost as much as a beater shitbox (those run about $4,000 these days - yes, I'm in the market for a small beater shitbox, message me)... but most are in the $400-$800 range or less. If you are handy, a good bike on BikesDirect will run you even less. Basic transportation bikes from Target are around $200.

Insurance, too

Add the bikes to one's renters or homeowners insurance, including the serial numbers. Given that stolen bicycle recovery rates are spotty at best, it makes sense to both strengthen the paper trail in case of recovery, and also be able to potentially defray some of the cost of replacement (depending on the policy, of course).