Police Shut Down Bike Shop Suspected of Selling Stolen Property

busy_bee_340.jpgThe Busy Bee bike shop has been shut down for criminal possession of stolen property. Photo: Jack Savage.

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.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Its about time the NYPD pulled a “sting.” Let’s hope this is just the start. NYC was harmed in the 1970s and 1980s because people were afraid to walk and ride subways. Now it is harmed because people are afraid to ride and park bikes.

  • I have reason to believe they knew the name of a person who stole STI shifters off my bike in July 2009 but failed to reveal their source – probably because he was a business partner of theirs.

  • Interesting reviews for this bike shop on Yelp

  • Hottwheelz

    Good reporting, Savage. I sure hope they’ll start paying attention. For many of us, like Hottwheelz, it’s my primary means of transportation…and my joyride, too. Keep us informed…and protected!

  • David Rucker

    Good reporting on an issue that has never gotten much “airplay” — thank you!

  • alheim

    agreed – a good bit about interesting investigations. please keep us updated

  • you know who

    finally they shut this place down!!
    i for one knew they were selling stolen shit for
    at least the last 7 years, but whenever i told anyone
    they just blew me off. once i saw a guy come in there
    with a wheel with the u-lock still attached too it
    and emi and the other owner asked him how long it would
    take to take the lock off and the guy said give me a few more hours then
    he left. also there used to be this seedy crack head girl that was
    sleeping with emi i think as well. she was a bike theif too,
    bringing in stolen shit to support her habit. this guy sold me a bike when i was a kid that had mismatched cranks and a frame with a dent in the top tube. then when i confronted him about it, he told me “well i guess it taught you a lot about bikes huh”.
    so now emi is dead its too bad really i would rather see
    him in jail but its comforting to know he is rotting in hell. the new
    owner is some big hair guy i know he knew the score too, i have
    not gone in there in at least 4 years and strongly even to the point of telling people outside the store not to go in because they bought stolen bikes. glad to see them shut down, but come on the cops knew about this place already, all politics. next stop for the federales bikes by george!

  • The illegally placed ATM is perfect added touch in the photo – I bet they were an all cash business!

  • seems like hysteria. one critic hasn’t been in store for 4 yrs. another because of an atm location casts further aspersions. i have had nothing but good service from busy bee bikes. good prices and quality servicing are all that i know about busy bee bikes.

  • Scott

    To echo “you know who”: anyone who’s spent time riding a bike in the EV knows that if your bike or some part off your bike goes missing, that’s the first place to check. They’ve been buying stolen bikes for years and years, and really not going to any trouble to hide that fact, going so far as to hang stolen bikes in the window with price tags.

  • O M G !
    People ! get a grip ! it seems like everyone in this city is trying to byte each other in the @ss , a man to a man =wolf.
    Please , give me a break , puritans , it is fairly annoying to read all this dirt people are pulling out from the closet , fairlynot knowing the owner is dead for almost over a year , thats first. Knowing the guys at the shop (got excellent bike and always service with a smile) he wasnt a saint for sure.
    Now , its clear that for unreasonable financial reasons , the city is trying to sabotage efforts of small shops to remain in business (great atitude for tough times like these) , check wall street journal report about it.
    I always got a receipt for any thing I purchased/got fixed there , yes cash only , I work in a cash only cafe , whats the big deal about it.
    I even saw people selling used bikes to the shop , always having their ID scanned and filed , with a receipt !
    Now , lets get to the real matter here , say hypothetically , all people will register their bike to prevent trafficking of stolen ones , some one (the municipality who is actually after these guys)will have to have to open a bureau that would handle it , hire people and get equipment to do so , then , our dear , amazingly serving (where are they when people get robbed , and attacked in the street ?!?!- eating donuts? ) police authority would actually have to go down to shops like that , which as far as I know , they never did , to try and compare their database of suspects of theft with all these filed used bikes sellers ID the shop has.
    SO , here you go again , the big ones against the small ones , quite fare I might say.

  • seems like a lot of hysteria! one critic hasn’t been in the store in 4 yrs. another critic, because of atm location, has cast further aspersions. i have only experienced fair prices and quality servicing with the busy bee bike store. seems like a bunch of republicans critics!!!!!

  • oh and just one thing …
    ANY one , can steal anything , bring it into a shop and say it was his grandma /doesnt need it /didnt fit his bike and so , how are you suppose to prove such a thing , do you think Adorama pr B&H doesnt have stolen property ?
    there is no way to prove it is , unless registered and reported , there is no database to refer to , so you cant blame any one.
    Look at CL , its crawling with these kind of scammers.

  • Both Sides

    Way to Feel the Street Beat Fellas! Last time I checked good reporting did more than just ask one source and call it a day. What about the perspective from the Busy Bee employee who got arrested or anybody from the Busy Bee organization. They are good people that work there. When they reopen I will bring my bike there like I always have for their expert service and unpretentious vibe. As for horrible negative people that have nothing better to do than spread lies and slander the dead: why are you even here? And remember “go bikes and rock and roll my friends.”

  • Liam

    If you want to continue supporting the shop (if it can stay open) please keep doing so. The fact is many stolen bikes and parts have ended up at the shop. They support bike theft. Simple.

  • com1

    If these accusations are proven true, I do not understand how any bicyclist advocates can support this store. Chances are that if the police ran a prolonged sting operation they must feel as though they have solid evidence to bring the case to a close.

  • Alex

    I worked here for 2 days and these guys were the worst ive ever seen. adjustable wrenches, fixing bikes upside down, no trueing stand.. comeon! quit out of frustration and disgust.

  • Alex

    haha i just read someone wrote EXPERT SERVICE!! what a gag

  • ari

    as someone whos had my bike stolen twice, i say that any police action against suspected bike thieves and their accomplices is welcomed — EVEN if some of the suspects end up being innocent (or relatively inncent, whatever that menas) it will make others think twice and make bike theft less of the epidemic it currently is in the city.

  • joe adano

    Did any of you idiots do a follow up on this? I didn’t think so.

  • ilove you new yord and your gril @+

  • lofer

    Follow @smartvhf on instagram

  • dave



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