(KMSP) - Investigators believe they have finally identified a suspect responsible for a string of high-end bicycle thefts at bike shops throughout Hennepin County last spring and summer.
Cody Jarosz, 24, of Plymouth, Minnesota has been charged with two counts of theft, one count of burglary, one count of property damage and one count of receiving stolen property for stealing bikes and damaging property at four different bike stores in Minneapolis, Wayzata and Hopkins between May and July 2016.
In an interview with police, Jarosz’s girlfriend said he is “obsessed” with bicycles.
On May 12, Erik’s Bike Shop on 4th Street SE in Minneapolis reported a man had walked out of the store with a Specialized Vita Elite bicycle worth $1,500 without paying for it. The theft was captured on surveillance video.
On May 26, Erik’s Bike Shop on Lyndale Avenue S. in Minneapolis reported a man had walked out of the store with a Specialized Turbo S bicycle without paying for it. The bike was valued at $7,000.
On June 20, the Gear West store on Wayzata Boulevard in Long Lake reported that two surveillance cameras had been ripped down and a window on the front of the building had been damaged by someone attempting to get into the store. Surveillance video showed a man and a woman ripping down the cameras and breaking the window. The man appeared to be the same suspect responsible for the Erik’s Bike shop thefts.
On July 2, the owner of Johnny Rock Bikes on Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins reported eight bikes worth approximately $15,000 total were missing from his store..
In an interview with Fox 9 in July, the owner of Johnny Rock Bikes, Jonathan Minks, sad the thief picked out some of the best, high-end bikes in the store. They would have gotten away with more if it were not for a neighbor who spotted a man placing a bike in the trunk of his car and driving off.
Through an investigation, officers identified Jarosz as the suspect in all four incidents. His girlfriend was identified as the woman who was with him during the attempted burglary of Gear West.
In July, investigators conducted surveillance at Jarosz’s house in Hopkins, where they observed a car matching the description of the vehicle involved in the Hopkins burglary, as well as several bikes in the driveway of the home.
The owner of Johnny Rock Bikes positively identified one of the bikes as the Specialized Turbo S that was stolen from one of the Erik’s Bike shops in May.
Jarosz and his girlfriend were arrested. In an interview, Jarosz’s girlfriend positively identified him as the person seen on surveillance video committing both Erik’s Bike Shop thefts. She also identified herself as the woman who was with Jarosz during the attempted burglary of Gear West.
The girlfriend told police she and Jarosz got into a fight when they arrived at Gear West because he wanted to steal a bike. She said he has been living with her in Hopkins and has been bringing a number of bicycles to the house, which she believed he had stolen.