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November 6, 2008

Bicycle thefts

Back in September, I wrote a column on the Case of the Stolen Bicycle. If you recall, the owner of a high-end bicycle store in Arlington, Va., tracked a stolen $8,000 carbon-fram Specialized SL2 racing bike to a rowhouse on Cross Street in Federal Hill.

Police from Baltimore and Arlington posed as bicycle enthusiasts on the Internet, befriended the suspect and then arrested Barry Pugh, 26, and charged him with larceny in connection with the case in Arlington and another stolen bicycle case from Baltimore. He was accused of stealing a $3,500 bike from Light Street Cycles.

Today, the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office said Pugh pleaded guilty to theft in Baltimore Circuit Court and received a five-year suspended prison sentence and five years probation. He still has a theft case pending in Baltimore County Circuit Court and a larceny case pending in Arlington County, Va., General District Court.

The Virginia case stems from the stolen SL2. According to the court's Internet site, the case was postponed yesterday and has been rescheduled for Dec. 17. His attorney in Virginia, Mina J. Ketchie, declined to comment when reached this afternoon.

I got back in touch with the owner of Conte's Bicycle and Fitness store in Arlington and she had just heard the news from Baltimore. "It made me very excited," said Jody L. Bennett.

Bennett said she went to court in Arlington and was happy the case was postponed until next month. "Yesterday, the man didn't have a record and probably would've gotten off pretty easy," she said. "Now, when he goes to court he'll have a record for bike theft."

So what happened to the expensive bike?

That's a sad story. Bennett had displayed the returned bike in her store but put a sign on it explaining its underground journey to Baltimore. She had reduced the price to $6,000, below her cost. A few weeks ago, Bennett said a customer agreed to buy only the frame. "He didn't want the bike because of all the problems," the owner said.

The final cost without any accessories: $2,400.

"We're asking the suspect for $6,100 in restitution," Bennett said. "We'll probably never see it."

 

Posted by Peter Hermann at 2:45 PM | | Comments (5)
        

Comments

First and for most, Im glad that the accused has a record for larceny in VA too. People like that should not get away with things of such kind. Im actually hope they do something about this because in Baltimore County Circuit Court, in my opinion, with all the theft cases he has, they let him off easy. How is our society going to change, if they let people like him loose. It seems like he hasn't learned his lesson, because he keeps repeating the same " mistakes ". Hopefully, they will make justice happen in arlington.


this is truly a shame ..im the one who posted earlier..

I love your articles Mr. hermann

Hi Mr. Hermann,

Any updates on the case? I heard the case on Arlington was still pending till this day. I can't believe a man like this is wondering around. Please let us readers know what's the new scoop on this is up to.. I'll truly appreciate it..

Send info to email

I've heard it said the happiest days in a bicycle owner's life are the day when
he buys his dream bicycle. Then the saddest day in a bicycle owner's life is when the dream bicycle gets stolen. They say that a theft will not take time if he sees there's a bicycle alarm lock or something. I stumbled upon a website that has cheap options on lock alarms. What's nice is that its siren screams very loud. I saw them at www.etipinc.com. I hope this can help.

Cannot agree more. In my opinion, bicycle theft is just as serious as motor vehicle theft and should be treated the same. There is no such thing as a petty or small murder and there should not be such a thing as a small theft.
My bike may not be worth a lot to other people but it is very valuable and irreplaceable to me.

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.



Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.
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