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News Release: EBay listing tip aids in arrest of serial bike thief

RELEASED: June 11, 2013

CONTACT:    Ryan Huff, Communications Manager, Police Department
                      303-492-7581 / ryan.huff@colorado.edu

A serial thief who has stolen bikes from University of Colorado students on at least three occasions has been arrested. The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office arrested Wayne Willet Cron last week on an outstanding warrant requested by the University of Colorado Police Department. On June 6, 2013, the District Attorney’s Office charged Cron with three felonies – Theft between $1,000 to $20,000 (Class 4 felony), Theft By Receiving (Class 4 felony) and Providing False Information to a Pawnbroker (Class 6 felony).

Cron, a 40-year-old transient, was also arrested in 2005 and 2010 for stealing bikes from CU students. In the most recent case, a CU student reported that someone had cut a cable lock on Jan. 17, 2013, near the Ekeley Sciences Building to steal his brand-new $3,000 Cannondale mountain bike.

On March 23, 2013, the victim contacted UCPD to say he found his bike listed for sale on the eBay website. A YouTube video on that site briefly showed part of the bike’s serial number, which matched the victim’s stolen bike. UCPD detectives contacted the listed seller, a Denver pawnshop, and learned that Cron sold the Cannondale bike to the pawnshop on Jan. 17, 2013 – the same day of the reported theft. On that day, Cron signed documents stating he had owned the bike for one year and acknowledged that providing false information was a felony.

UCPD recovered the bike and returned it to the rightful owner. UCPD requested that a judge approve an arrest warrant for Cron. The suspect has an extensive criminal history in five states, including arrests for burglary, larceny and pawn violations.

“The keys to solving this case started with the victim knowing his bike’s serial number and ended with solid detective work,” said CU-Boulder police spokesman Ryan Huff. “It’s critical that CU students register their bikes so they can be more easily located if stolen. This case also shows that cable locks are easily defeated. U-locks are a better option for securing your bike.”

The CU Police Department asks students, faculty and staff to register their bicycle’s serial number at the CU Bike Station, just east of the University Memorial Center. If their bikes are ever stolen, police have a better chance of finding them by accessing a nationwide database. For other safety tips, please visit the UCPD website’s bike theft prevention page at http://bit.ly/CUBikeSafety.