7 arrested, accused of stealing 80 bikes in Grand Junction

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Authorities on the Western Slope said they ahve arrested seven people in connection to the alleged theft of 80 bicycles, the Grand Junction Police Department said Thursday.

On Wednesday morning, officers responded to the theft of a “bait bike” that had been planted by police after a high number of thefts in the area.

The bike was locked to a bike rack and was worth about $4,000. It was equipped with a GPS tracking device.

Police reviewed surveillance footage and saw a male approach the bike, cut its lock and ride away.

A female was also on the bike, according to surveillance footage. Officers recognized both people, according to police.

Officers searched the area and found the female suspect.

At the residence where she was located, officers saw a backpack matching the one they saw on the male suspect in the surveillance footage. They also spotted the seat from the stolen bait bike.

“Based on their investigation, officers obtained a search warrant for the residence and located over 80 bike frames, and a large amount of disassembled bike parts. Some of the frames were confirmed to be reported as stolen, but not all of them,” police said.

Officers contacted several people at or near the home, resulting in the arrests of seven people:

  • Jefferi Orona, 35, arrested for false info on a pawn slip, theft
  • Tristan Bales, 32, arrested for felony theft as well as unrelated outstanding warrants
  • Brenda Goff, 27, arrested for theft and complicity
  • Raymond Ayers, 46, arrested for theft and complicity
  • Hayley Kuntz, 22, arrested for theft and complicity
  • Sydney Abeyta, 26, arrested for unrelated warrants
  • James Farnsworth, 32, arrested for providing false info to law enforcement

Police are encouraging anyone who had a bike stolen within the past two years and did not report it to do so.

Police also allow people to register their bikes for $1, making them easier to find if they are stolen. Bikes can be registered at the police station.

Detectives are working on returning the bikes to their rightful owners.

The investigation is ongoing. Police said more charges and arrests might be made.

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