A customer at West Hollywood’s Bikes & Hikes LA/Bike Shop LA rode off with a brand new BMX bike he didn’t pay for, said manager, Jason Bowers, who captured it all on video.
It’s the third brazen, broad-daylight theft the business has suffered since December.
In a letter to Lt. William Moulder, Bowers expressed his frustration with the response from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station.
Read the letter below, as well as Lt. Moulder’s reply.
We had yet another theft from our shop. In broad daylight. A guy posing as a customer fled with one of our brand new BMX bikes (see YouTube link). The thief is the guy with the long pony tail in this video. You’ll note that he waited patiently for several minutes me to help another customer. Then after I handed him the bike to test ride, he followed me to the garage and then moments later turned around, slipped under the chain at our front door, and started booking eastbound on Santa Monica Blvd.
I provided detailed information to Deputy G Vasquez (622922) on police report 921-01722-097-383
As both the manager of a small business and a RESIDENT of West Hollywood, I certainly find it frustrating that the call to explain this to dispatch alone took 8 minutes (a call I made immediately after the incident), then there’s the wait for a deputy to arrive at our shop only to ask me the same questions I had just answered over the phone, wasting even more precious time. Was this life threatening? No. But I was IMMEDIATELY able to provide the thief’s description and knowledge of what direction he was headed on a bicycle (not in a car), the description of the bike and SERIAL NUMBER of the bike, and VIDEO of the thief committing the crime just moments earlier, but there was not even a sense of urgency even as I see the city dispatch multiple deputies to respond to things as non-urgent as someone passed out on the street.
This is our third bike theft in broad daylight since moving into this space in December. We like you guys, but we don’t like having to call you so often. Please help us out here. Thank you.
Bikes and Hikes LA / Bike Shop LA
Office: +1 323-796-8555 / 323-515-0070
Hope this email finds you well. I am sorry to hear about this. I certainly understand your frustration.
I checked on the call. The call was sent out at 3:32 pm and the first Deputy arrived at 3:37 pm, five (5) minutes later. The call was sent out as a Priority Call (three types of calls: Emergency, Priority, and Routine). Oftentimes, the Dispatcher will have already sent the call out, in order to get Deputies to the location as soon as possible, but will continue to gather information from the informant.
When our Deputies arrive at a location, they ask what occurred and if there is any new or additional information. Unfortunately, sometimes those questions are repetitive, but important to confirm the story and understand the incident. If there is new or additional information, they pass that onto the other responding Deputies.
Four (4) Sheriff’s Patrol Units responded to the call. Some of the units began looking for the suspect and bike, whilst the handling unit responded to your location to confirm the story and provide additional information to Deputies who were searching for the suspect and the bike.
I will forward the video to our Special Teams Deputies to see if they can identify the suspect. Our Detective Bureau will also review the video and try to identify the suspect. Our Crime Analyst in our Detective Bureau usually creates a “wanted flyer” and will distribute that to other LA County law enforcement agencies to see if we can identify the suspect or if they have other crimes involving this suspect.
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to call or email me.
William Moulder, Lieutenant
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station