The Winnipeg Police Service says they have returned many high-end bikes to their owners after finding a storage locker filled with stolen bikes.
Between April 2020 and November, many reports of bikes being stolen along Pembina Highway's south section. When the West District Community Support Unit investigated, they found bikes that had been missing for much longer than two years.
"The West District Community Support Unit launched an investigation to locate these stolen bicycles in response to community tips provided to police," the Winnipeg Police Service says in a Friday statement.
On November 16, police executed a search warrant to enter a 500 block of Hervo Street storage facility. When they opened the locker, inside were many high-end bikes.
A 51-year-old man was arrested on November 23 in the 1000 block of Manahan Avenue. He is facing property and identity fraud-related charges.
Five of the stolen bikes have been returned to their owners, including a 13-year-old boy and a 70-year-old woman. Police say this was possible because they all registered their bike's serial number.
In 2005, a woman's vintage bike was stolen out of her garage. The woman had the serial number and registered her bike with the city's registry when it first launched. Sixteen years later, the bike was found in the storage locker.
A 13-year-old who had his secured bike stolen at school is reunited with it after the bike was also found in the locker.
"He had worked very hard to save up and pay half of the value, which was $1,000, while his parents matched the other half. His disappointment was great when it was stolen."
When police found it, it was in good working order.
Each year roughly 3,000 bikes are stolen in Winnipeg, and one-third are recovered. Less than 10 per cent of the recovered bikes are returned to their original owner.