Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Teen Arrested in Series of Bike Thefts, Burglary Cases

Arrested: Michael Anthony Lawrence, 19, Boise

Charged: Burglary (F), Grand Theft 13 counts (F)

Arrest:  Boise Police arrested Lawrence shortly before 1:00 this morning as officers believe he was in the process of stealing four tires from a business on the 1800 block of S. Cole Rd. Officers responded to an alarm from the business and found the suspect nearby. Investigating officers found evidence the suspect Lawrence had broken a window to the business to get inside. Officers discovered the tires that appeared to be quickly discarded in a field next to the business.

Charges:  The charges facing Lawrence reflect today's early morning burglary and 13 counts of Grand Theft in connection to the May 22nd theft of 13 racing bikes from a Boise motel parking lot. The bikes were valued at approximately $110,000. The bikes were recovered and returned to the owners the following day.

“Detectives have been investigating this suspect for stealing bikes since before the theft of the racing bikes.  That case, however, did provide additional evidence. Fortunately now, after a lot of investigating, surveillance of the suspect, subpoenas and search warrants, detectives have what we feel is a very solid case against this suspect for what's turning out to be a series of bike thefts and burglaries, “said Sgt. Randy Buzzini of the Property Crimes Unit of the Boise Police Criminal Investigations Division.

“Our case on the bike thefts just came together this week. The fact that the suspect committed a burglary just sped up his arrest. ”

 “It’s possible publicity of the racing bike thefts caused him to change course, to slow down taking bikes and do more burglaries. This is still very much an ongoing investigation,” said Sgt. Buzzini.

Ongoing Investigation, Series of Thefts, Burglaries:  Within the past 24 hours, Boise Police have recovered two other bikes reported stolen in Boise that appear connected to the suspect Lawrence. The bikes are valued at approx. $3,500 each and were found at a downtown location last night. In a search warrant served on the suspect’s Boise home this morning, officers found additional evidence, including computers and TV’s believed to connect the suspect to several recent business burglaries in addition to the bike thefts.

At this time, in addition to the racing bikes, officers believe the suspect may be connected to 30 - 50 reported bike thefts in Boise, incuding the theft of 5 bikes valued together at $10,000 in early June from the Vista Ave. area.

Theft for Resale:   Officers have evidence the suspect Lawrence was stealing the bikes and other items for resale over Craigslist and other methods. Officers continue to investigate any  accomplices that may also be involved in the thefts or resale of stolen items.

“It’s difficult, for lots of reasons, to divulge publically what our officers are doing to solve crimes like these. We can say these thefts have been a priority.  We’re continuing to work on this suspect’s connection to what may be many more crimes. Officers have been working on the case that leads to this suspect for quite some time. I’m happy to say they’re hard work is paying off. ”  said Sgt. Buzzini.

For additional information on how best to protect your bike from theft, go to the Bike Safety Education page at www.boisepolice.org.