Police: Shop owner caught buying, selling stolen bikes

SEATTLE -- The owner of a Belltown bicycle shop has been arrested after being caught buying -- largely from convicted burglars and thieves -- and selling stolen bikes, according to the Seattle Police Department.

According to police, the owner of Bicycle Pull-Apart was arrested March 13 and booked into King County Jail for trafficking in stolen property after detectives discovered he had sold a $4,000 bike stolen from a nearby apartment building the previous June.

At the time, detectives were involved in a months-long investigation of Pull-Apart following tips the shop was buying, selling and rebuilding stolen bicycles. According to police, records show the $4,000 bike was sold to the shop within days of it being stolen and that Pull-Apart apparently pawned it to itself.

Further review of the shop's records include "suspiciously" mistyped serial numbers, making it hard to search for stolen bikes, according to police.

Detectives reportedly discovered more than half of the bicycles purchased by the shop from February 2013 to January 2014 were bought from felons, many with convictions for burglary and theft.

In addition, a search warrant served Wednesday at Pull-Apart turned up three bikes that had been reported stolen in August 2013, September 2013 and March 2014, according to police.

Detectives are continuing to investigation the shop's operations.