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Police bust Colorado 'chop shop' for stolen bicycles

Grand Valley has become a popular destination for bicycle enthusiasts with its beautiful trails and lush scenery. Unfortunately, it also has become a popular target for bike thieves.

On Aug. 21, Grand Junction police planted a mountain bike outfitted with GPS and video on a bike rack near Colorado Mesa University. The nearly $4,000 bike was stolen in the early morning hours of the next day. The Daily Sentinel stated that the video revealed two suspected bike thieves, Tristin Bales and Brenda Goff, making off with the bike.

Pair led police to "chop shop" for stolen bikes

After Goff was apprehended, she allegedly admitted to having the stolen bike on her property. Bales was also located close by, and he too allegedly admitted to taking the bike. The home where the suspects were located allegedly had more than 80 bike frames and many other bike parts. An officer referred to it as a likely "chop shop" for bikes that were stolen.

Some of the bicycles found at the home were missing serial numbers, which may have been removed to prevent police officers from tracking the bikes.

Two other suspects arrested for allegedly trying to steal the same bike

Two other Colorado residents, Raymond Ayers and Hayley Kuntz, were also caught on camera trying to steal the planted bicycle before Goff and Bales made off with it. Ayers allegedly took the grips from the bike's handlebars, while Kuntz allegedly stood as his lookout.

Colorado has serious theft punishments

Ayers and Kuntz face possible theft and complicity charges. Goff and Bales also face possible theft charges. Bales may also face assault charges in an unrelated case.

In Colorado, theft of items between $2,000 and $5,000 is charges a Class 6 felony. Anyone found guilty could face up to one and half years in jail and significant fines. For theft of items between $5,000 and $20,000, it is charged as a Class 5 felony. If convicted, you face up to three years in jail and substantial fines.

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