Austin Police say the number of warrants issued in bike thefts and burglaries are up which means more bikes are in police custody.
Bikes that have been abandoned or stolen find there way to the Austin Police Department Evidence Warehouse. There are currently 170 in custody. Usually there are only between 40 and 50 bikes and most are not high end.
"Its $100 bike, a lot of people aren't going to even file a theft report and that's where the problem comes in, we can't link them back to an owner," said APD Evidence Control Manager James Gibbens said.
APD has a burglary unit in place that is designated to work burglary cases. The detectives issue approximately 50 warrants a month. They also get emails and calls from bike owners using social media to try and track down their stolen bikes.
"It's helpful because it could turn out giving us leads where bikes are being sold and fenced at or sold to because not every bike goes to a pawn shop," said Chris Carlisle of the APD Burglary Unit.
Once cases are cleared or owners are not found APD sends the bikes off to auction. There are all kinds from lower end Huffy bikes to higher end Gary Fishers and Treks.
The auction for APD is run by Gaston and Sheehan Auctioneers. The money made goes to the city’s general revenue fund.
According to Bob Sheehan the bike auction is popular, people can get really good deals.
"We get some high end bikes. Some of the high end bikes if you go to the store pay $2500 $3000 for the bike, you can probably get that here for $750 to $1000," Sheehan said. "Everybody wants a bike for their children or we sell them to dealers who resell them, we sell them to people who fix them up so there's a pretty good market for bikes."