After allegedly stealing BMX bicycles, the suspects left a trail of clues all over town for police, including at a probation office and supermarket a block away from bike store.
Police arrested two teens for possession of stolen property — bikes taken from a Payson outdoor store last week.
Police identified the teens after a shop employee saw the teens riding the bikes a quarter mile away from the store.
“How we caught them is funny. Really funny to some regard,” said Hike, Bike and Run owner Mick Wolf.
Wolf said one of his employees, Paul Walragh, was shopping at Bashas’ Supermarket Monday when he saw a teen ride a new BMX bike into the store.
“He sees it out of the corner of his eye and then two more kids ride in on BMX bikes,” Wolf said. While the teens parked the bikes, Walragh called the police, but the teens rode off before they arrived.
An hour and half later, Payson Police Sgt. Todd Bramlet arrived at Hike, Bike and Run, got a description of the teens and went back to Bashas’ to review the surveillance video. From the video, Bramlet got a clear picture of one of the teens and video of two more.
Shortly after the police left, Wolf said he received a call from teens at the skate park in Rumsey Park, to report a suspicious bike at the park. Wolf went to the park, but it was not one of the stolen bikes.
The store, at 600 E. Highway 260, was broken into sometime between 11 p.m. Oct. 1 and 5 a.m. Oct. 2. Wolf said the thieves disconnected his security camera and made off with $150 from a cash box and three $300 BMX bikes.
While visiting with the skaters, one of the teens said he knew who took the bikes from his shop and provided a name.
Wolf gave police the name.
On Tuesday, an officer reviewing the case recognized a teen from the surveillance video because he had dealt with him on another incident.
The officer went to the 16-year-old’s house and saw what he suspected was one of the stolen BMX bikes locked up out front.
Officers went to the 17-year-old’s house, who had been identified by the informant in the park, but he was not at home.
“The kid had just left to go see his probation officer at the courthouse and rode the bike down there,” Wolf said.
The 17-year-old was under house arrest and probation for a past burglary and auto theft, Bramlet said.
Officers eventually arrested both teens on charges of possession of stolen property.
Bramlet said police are following up on several other leads to figure out who did the burglary.
Wolf retrieved the third bike after three men turned it in at his shop Tuesday. “They said they found the stolen bike in their back yard,” Wolf said.