Video shows thief stealing 2 rare bikes from south Denver business; reward offered

Data pix.

DENVER -- A man broke into a south Denver business and stole two rare bicycles. Surveillance cameras captured the thefts.

Now, the bikes' owner is offering a reward to get them back.

On Sept. 11, a crook smashed the storefront window of Ajax Custom Plating Company on South Broadway.

Six different surveillance clips show the lengths the crook took to take off with store owner Darrel Bauer’s bikes.

“From the time he broke the window to the time he took the last bike was 15 minutes, which is an eternity,” Bauer said.

Fifteen minutes of video captures lots of footage of the thief, including an outfit change. Surveillance video shows how the man starts the heist with long sleeves and a hat. By the time he rides off, he’s wearing short sleeves and shorts.

“You feel violated, for one,” Bauer said. “A little bit of shock and you hope that because of the uniqueness of the bikes, they’ll be found right away.”

The bikes are both collectible, classic Schwinns. Both are red with “Apple Krate” painted on the chain guard.

One bike is an original from 1970s; Bauer built the other one from scratch. It took about a year to build. This was Bauer’s first big project for himself.

For 33 years, he’s restored other people’s family mementos and collectibles.

“The looks on their faces when they come in, sometimes it brings tears in their eyes,” he said.

Bauer hopes to share that same gratitude with anyone who can recover his bikes. He is offering a reward of $1,000.

Bauer asks anyone with information to call police first, then reach out to him with serial numbers to verify. The phone number to his store is 303-777-8930.

With so many recent bike thefts, Denver police want owners to do three things: Flip, snap and selfie.

First, they want owners to flip their bikes over to locate the serial number. Next, take a picture of that number and then take a selfie with the bike.

Nicole Fierro wrote this report.

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