Talent police report a growing number of bike thefts

Talent police have seen a surge in bicycle thefts over the past six months, with about 30 bikes reported stolen during that time and only three of them recovered.

The thefts are not confined to any certain area, but have occurred all over town.

"We're seeing more and more of them," said Talent Police Chief Mike Moran.

A tandem bike reported stolen Jan. 5 from the front porch of a house was one of those recovered. A citizen's tip led to the arrest of a suspect.

Stephanie Shaw, 32, was lodged in Jackson County Jail Jan. 12 on felony charges of first-degree theft and first-degree theft by receiving related to tandem's disappearance. Shaw was a former Talent resident, said Moran.

The tipster called police to report that a tandem bike being offered for $250 on Craigslist looked like a deal too good to be legitimate. The stolen tandem had a value of $1,250.

Police were able to locate the bike at a pawn shop. A friend of Shaw's had pawned the bike for her, said Moran.

"As part of our rash of bike thefts, we have been trying to keep a good eye on pawn shops," said Moran.

Talent police subscribe to an Internet service that allows them to survey the offerings at pawn shops in Oregon and neighboring states. Officers use the service regularly to attempt to locate stolen goods, said Moran.

With many bikes selling for more than $1,000, stealing one will result in felony first-degree theft charges.

"Our surge in bike thefts, I think, matches those in other cities," said Moran.

In August, Medford police reported a spike in bike thefts.

—Tony Boom

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