Burglars tried to use two recycling bins, a table and a ladder to break into a custom bicycle shop in Southeast Portland.
Ken Wheeler, the owner of Renovo Designs, said an employee discovered the items stacked up next to the shop's garage Sunday afternoon. He believes the burglars tried to crawl through the garage's ventilation space about 10 feet off the ground at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
"It's kind of a long drop," Wheeler said. "So I guess when they got up there they looked down and thought, ‘Oh my goodness! I guess that's not going to work.'"
When their original plan failed, Wheeler said the thieves used a shovel to pry open a side door, which set off the burglary alarm.
Wheeler said the thieves managed to grab four, hand-made, hardwood bicycle frames before leaving.
"There was much more valuable stuff they could have taken," Wheeler said.
Still, Wheeler said the bicycle frames were scheduled to be shipped to customers on Monday. All together they are valued at about $14,000.
"The worst part is disappointing our customers," he said. "That is the very worst part of the whole deal."
Wheeler said the burglary will set his delivery schedule back by a month, since each bicycle can take weeks to assemble.
"We have put everyone else on hold to redo their bikes and to rebuild them," Wheeler said. "So it's not a nice thing."
Wheeler filed a police report and officers told FOX 12 they are investigating the burglary.
Wheeler is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible. He is also offering another $1,000 for the return of the stolen bicycle frames.
"I just had a sense that Portland was a little friendlier than that but I guess I'm naïve."
If you have any information about the burglary, you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers of Oregon at (503) 823-4357.
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