Update, Oct. 21: The Berkeley Police Department released the following notice today.
Since the news of this arrest, our Property Crimes Unit has received an overwhelming response from community members looking for their bicycles. Because of this, the Police Department will only be able to call persons back who had bicycles stolen that are similar to the items we have recovered. We apologize for this and thank you for your assistance with this investigation.
At this point, the Berkeley Police Department only has a handful of bicycles. Please only contact our Property Crimes Unit if you have the following bicycles:
· An aluminum mountain bicycle with Manitou suspension forks
· 2WENTY 29er 21-speed bicycle
· GIANT FCR3 21-speed road bicycle
· An aluminum GT mountain bicycle
There were no other bicycle pieces/accessories recovered during the investigation — such as helmets, locks, or seats.
Original story, Oct. 17: Earlier this month, a local resident tried to track down his stolen bike in response to a suspicious Craigslist ad, and led police to a home in Berkeley where at least five bikes — presumed stolen — were recovered, along with many bike parts.
Police made one arrest but are still looking for the owners of those bikes to come forward to claim their property, authorities said this week.
Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said one victim used Craigslist to arrange a “buy” to get back what he believed to be his bike. That victim told police about his plans, and officers got a warrant for a home in the 900 block of Allston Way that was linked to the seller.
Officers went to the home with the warrant and recovered at least five bikes, White said.
Police arrested Andrew Martinez, 28, in connection with the property.
A friend of the victim posted his story on the Berkeleyside Facebook page.
According to that narrative, the man saw an “incredibly suspicious recurring Craigslist ad for the same bike as mine,” and got in touch with the seller so he could buy back the bike.
“At the last minute, the seller flaked (stopped answering phone/texts) and pulled the ad” offline.
But the bike theft victim didn’t give up. He had already spoken with the seller and gotten an address about where to meet him.
The victim explained the situation to police, who were able to raid a different property nearby linked to the original address.
According to the victim, “the entire house was full of bikes (some with serial #’s filed off and/or with fresh coats of paint), and piles of bike parts.”
He did not find his bike among them but he said there were “A LOT of other bikes, mostly cross/mountain type bikes (Ridleys/Giants/Marins/Surlys), many of which were confiscated.”
He said he appreciated the help of police to try to solve the case.
“I have to give props [to] the Berkeley cops for this one,” he wrote. “I did not expect them to go to as much effort as they did on this – thank you.”
Police ask anyone with reason to think his or her stolen bike might be among the ones that were recovered to call the Berkeley Police Department’s Property Crimes Unit at 510-981-5737.
White said anyone making a claim should be prepared to describe the property with as much detail as possible, including any unique elements that might help identify it.
Berkeleyside publishes many articles every day. To see all our stories in chronological order, and read ones you may have missed, check out our All the News grid.