TEMPE, AZ - A Tempe police operation targeting bike thefts in Tempe has led to three arrests since January.
During the course of "Operation: Bike Peddler," several search warrants have been served and more than 30 bicycles have been recovered, according to Tempe police Sgt. Michael Pooley.
One of the bicycles was being sold on eBay, valued at $11,000, he said.
Loren Henderson, 46, Jeffrey Barthold, 51, and Brian Meier, 50, were arrested on suspicion of stealing and selling bicycles and bicycle parts in around Tempe, Pooley said.
Investigative leads, surveillance and field interviews led to the arrests.
Officers received information during the investigation that Henderson was trading drugs for stolen bikes and fraudulent/stolen identity items, Pooley said.
Over the course of the operation, authorities found drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs, heroin, methamphetamine and several electronic items believed to be stolen, he said.
Police say you can help spot a stolen bike online by watching for red flags and alerting police to any suspicious activity.
If you're buying a bike research the brand so you know what it's worth. If you spot a bike that typically retails for a couple thousand dollars and it's selling for a couple hundred dollars police warn something is probably up.
You can also ask the seller to see the original receipt.
"If they can show you that it's a legitimate purchase, than it's probably a legitimate sale," said Pooley
Police also recommend that all bike owners register, photograph and record the serial numbers, as it greatly increases the chance of recovering their stolen property.