VIDEO: Rare bike stolen from Austin bike shop
AUSTIN, Texas - An Austin bike shop manager said a rare bike is missing from their shop after a man took off with it on Sunday. The incident was caught on camera.
John Whitsell, the manager of Austin Tri-Cyclist, said the person who came in their store was knowledgeable about bikes and seemed trustworthy.
"He did seem like someone who rides bikes very, very often and had some kind of knowledge about what bikes are good for what and kind of knew what he was looking for," Whitsell said.
The customer had his eyes on a rare $5,200 gravel bike. The manager said they only received three this year.
"This is a this-year-only and only made like this kind of bike, so we will not see any more of these beyond what we got this year," Whitsell said.
Whitsell said his employee took the customer upstairs, talked about the bike for a bit, then he waned to take it for a test ride.
"It's very common for us to let someone test ride a bike, even on the nicest ones, because you have to know how it feels," Whitsell said.
He said they usually require the customer to give them an ID and credit card before hoping on the bike.
"He was the one who offered the wallet, we weren't the ones who asked, so it was a real quick here you go and out the door kind of thing," Whitsell said.
Whitsell said the contents in the wallet he gave them were fake.
"When we realized he was gone, it was too late," Whitsell said. "The wallet was a credit card cut in half with the top sticking up, and I think that was about it."
Whitsell said the man in the blue shirt in the video is the one who took off with their bike, and they want it back.
"If the guy could just come back and pay full sticker price that would be great, but yes, we would love to have the bike back and be able to get it to someone who really is going to ride it and enjoy it," Whitsell said.
Whitsell said he's filed a police report which adds to the rising statistic of thefts from buildings. Austin police reports they are up by 165% from last year.
"It makes me feel a little less trustworthy of that random person coming in, but in general it doesn't deter me from being excited about bikes and getting new people on bikes," Whitsell said.
If you recognize the man or have seen the bike, call the Austin Police Department.