Are police starting to take bike theft seriously? In the East Village, officers with NYPD’s Civil Enforcement Unit have shut down a bike shop on East 6th Street as the result of what one officer characterized as an ongoing undercover investigation.
Busy Bee Bikes, a familiar destination for local cyclists, was forced to close its doors last Friday for criminal possession of stolen property, according to Lt. Patrick Ferguson of the Ninth Precinct.
One Busy Bee employee was arrested at the store that day after purchasing stolen property from an undercover officer, Ferguson said, adding that the owners of Busy Bee will appear in civil court on Wednesday. We are awaiting further information from the police on how they determined that the shop intentionally dealt in stolen goods. We also have a request in with the Manhattan DA’s office on the charges facing the store employees.
Ferguson told Streetsblog that another Busy Bee employee was arrested at the store last month, also for criminal possession of stolen property. A business will usually face closure by the city following two such arrests on the business’s property, according to David Duhan, an attorney who specializes in civil enforcement cases.
Friday’s arrest capped an ongoing investigation spearheaded by
the NYPD’s Ninth Precinct, Ferguson said. The operation had been in
progress for months, first coming to Streetsblog’s attention at a Ninth Precinct community council meeting in January, where police stressed the usefulness of having one’s bicycle registered
with the local precinct. NYPD serial numbers can help police recover bike frames lost to theft.