PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Along the Eastbank Esplanade right next to the Hawthorne Bridge is the spot where people say bikes go when they’re stolen.
A YouTube video taken by a man shows the open-air bike chop shop in plain view from the Hawthorne Bridge.
Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland said people processing the bike parts first “stash them and then they process them.”
He said one of the men in the YouTube video is “a known bike thief that the police already told me about, so I knew his face.”
His name is Jonathan Dubois.
Maus said there is a bustling market for stolen bikes and their parts which is why he is working with Portland police to set up a task force.
“Once the bike is broken up it can be sold off in different parts rather easily,” he said. “You have online market places like craigslist, eBay and elsewhere. These new ones are popping up all the time.”
If the bikes are reported stolen with serial numbers, police said they will seize them and make arrests.
The problem is many bike owners don’t record their serial numbers. That makes it challenging to prove they are stolen.
Tara, who lives in a homeless camp, told KOIN 6 News most people she knows “find parts here and there and build their bike out of it. It’s not stolen parts.”
But the new task force hopes to prove otherwise.
“We just need to be strategic,” Maus said. “Get the resources allocated to actually go do it.”