Mario Perez had been riding his black and grey Jamis Renegade Exile bicycle to work after losing his car during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, KHOU-TV reported.
Perez said the bike was stolen Saturday night from his second-floor patio. When it popped up for sale on the app “Offer Up,” he reported it to police.
Perez brought police images of the for-sale ad, photos of his bike and its purchase receipt, along with the seller’s name and address. But when police escorted him to the address, he claimed the officer wasn’t very helpful.
“If you can get him to bring the bike back, maybe pay him for it,” Perez claimed the officer said. Perez told the station he didn’t want to buy back his own property. The Renegade Exile retails for $899, according to Jamis Bikes.
The seller then called a man who purportedly purchased the bicycle and the officer spoke with him.
“I can’t hear what’s going on but (the officer) says, ‘Really? $180? You got a really good deal,’” Perez claims the officer said. “I’m standing there confused as to why she’s saying this and hoping there’s some kind of cop psych-out thing going on. She hands me (the phone) like, you know, just work something out with him and she says she has to leave.”
The Houston Police Department is investigating Perez’s claims and looking into the officer’s actions, the station reported. Detectives told the station they plan to find the stolen bike and those involved.
Cyclists can take several actions toward getting their stolen bikes back, including circulating photos of the bike and its serial number, according to Bicycling Magazine. After reporting the theft to police, the magazine says to also register it on a national bike registry, like 529 Garage, and any local registries.
To help prevent theft, the magazine suggests investing in a bike lock that requires power tools to break, and wrapping a cord around its wheels and frame.