DENVER — A statewide grand jury has indicted eight men for their alleged involvement in a series of bike shop and vehicle thefts across the state.
In total, 227 charges were filed for crimes involving 29 bike shop burglaries, 22 auto thefts and multiple attempted burglaries and thefts in Fraser, the Denver metro and Boulder area against the following defendants:
- Kevin Acosta-Larkin
- Austin Butler
- Gerald Garcia
- Maurice Leday
- Gregory Melina
- Salvador Mena-Barreno
- Jason Quijada
- Adrian Rocha-Chairez
Some of the charges against the defendants include violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act, first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft, second-degree burglary, theft and criminal mischief.
According to the grand jury, the pattern in the burglaries was consistent in that the burglaries would be planned over Facebook Messenger during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic from December 2019 until June 2020. The men allegedly operated in groups of up to four people to steal a box truck or a van and use it to ram the front doors or windows of a bike shop. They also allegedly used large landscaping rocks or other tools to break the front windows.
The men are then accused of stealing high-end mountain bikes, transferring them to another individual who then is suspected of transporting the stolen merchandise out of the country.
After the thefts, the defendants would allegedly dump the vehicle used in the burglary and take off in another stolen vehicle.
According to Attorney General Phil Weiser’s office, prosecutors have credible evidence suggesting the group worked with “fences,” or individuals in a criminal enterprise whose role is to resell stolen goods. Few bikes were recovered.
The approximate value of the stolen bikes is $985,000 and the approximate value of the stolen vehicles is $258,000. Total property damage between vehicles and businesses is $231,837.
According to the indictment, some of the bike shops that were hit include Giant Cycling World in Littleton, Totally Wired Cyclery in Fraser, Boulder Cycle Sport in Boulder, Redstone Cyclery in Lyons and Cenna Custom Cycles in Longmont.