Police in Chevy Chase are searching for three suspects seen on surveillance video stealing two high-priced bicycles in broad daylight from a home.
Police officers say it is that time of year as bikes seem to disappear into thin air once the weather turns warm. But some of these bicycle thieves are getting so brave that they are walking right onto people's property and riding off with them.
It was a sunny Sunday afternoon that turned ugly for one Chevy Chase family as three bicycle thieves rode up, one after another, and made off with two bicycles valued at $5,000 apiece.
The crime of opportunity was caught on the home's surveillance cameras as they pulled the bikes from an open garage.
"But the garage was behind the house, so he had to ride deep into the driveway, go behind the house, drop his bicycle right in the middle of the driveway, walk into the garage," said Chevy Chase Village Police Chief John Fitzgerald. "These two expensive bicycles were at the very rear of the garage."
Chief Fitzgerald said the homeowner was home at the time and called police right away.
News of the theft is spreading in the neighborhood and Chevy Chase Village resident Jay Treadwell told us, "Actually, it doesn't surprise me."
Even though the small community has its own police force, he knows there is only so much the police can do.
"We don't want to be a gated community," he said. "We don't want people to be locked out. We want to inclusive to the extent that we can and I'm afraid it is in inevitability in our society these days."
You don't even have to hear it from police. Employees at local bicycle shops have repeat customers who come back again and again needing a new bike.
"A lot of people come in saying that their bike got stolen from work, in their apartment storage center, from school, everywhere, especially the Metro," said Walker Butterfield of Big Wheel Bikes.
The people stealing the bikes are clearly doing their homework. They know the most expensive brands on the market and find the people who have them.
"A week ago, two bicycles were stolen out of a closed and locked garage that was forced open and pried," said Chief Fitzgerald. "Somebody went in and took two bicycles totaling $20,000."
Police tell bicycle owners to write down the serial number of their bike and register it with the local police department. That way if your bike is stolen and found, they can get it back to you.
You can also buy GPS tracking devices for bicycles online.
If all else fails, check Craigslist as many stolen bikes end up there. If you find it, call police.
Crime Solvers of Montgomery County is also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of these bicycle thieves.
Anyone with information on this theft is asked to contact the Chevy Chase Village Police Department at 301-654-7300 or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Tips can be made anonymously.