GPS on stolen bike leads to secret bookcase in SE Portland home - KPTV - FOX 12

GPS on stolen bike leads to secret bookcase in SE Portland home

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Secret room behind hidden bookcase, courtesy of Kevin Myers. Secret room behind hidden bookcase, courtesy of Kevin Myers.
The door separating the bookcase from the hidden room, courtesy of Kevin Myers. The door separating the bookcase from the hidden room, courtesy of Kevin Myers.
The front of the hidden bookcase, courtesy of Kevin Myers. The front of the hidden bookcase, courtesy of Kevin Myers.
The back of the abandoned home, courtesy of Kevin Myers. The back of the abandoned home, courtesy of Kevin Myers.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

It sounds like something out of a movie.

A stolen bike with a hidden GPS that provides a modern-day trail of breadcrumbs, leading police to a room concealed behind a secret bookcase in an abandoned home.

Except it really happened in southeast Portland with a bike stolen from Reed College recently.

“So when this bike moves two feet in any direction roughly, we get an alert to a cell phone and then we’re able to track this bike, essentially it looks like Google Maps, wherever it goes from there,” said Reed College spokesperson Kevin Myers, showing one of the famous campus “bait bikes.”

Myers doesn’t want to say exactly how many “bait bikes” rigged with hidden GPS units are on campus just waiting to be stolen, but he said Monday there are “several.”

One that was stolen October 21st has quite a story to tell.

It ended up at an abandoned home off SE 45th and Harney Street, about two miles southeast of campus.

Myers said community safety officers tracked the signal to the home, where they met with Portland Police officers. Because the home had previously been given to the city, officers were able to enter without a warrant. Inside they found no trace of the stolen bike – until they discovered a hidden bookcase revealing a secret room. The “bait bike” and two other stolen bikes were recovered inside.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this on an episode of Scooby Doo with my kids at some point, it was really, sort of, inventive criminals,” Myers said of the secret bookcase.  “[But all joking aside] we were having a lot of thefts of bikes on campus and it’s a real issue, a lot of Reed students live off campus, it’s their only means of transportation.”

A person found inside the abandoned home was arrested for criminal trespass, but Myers said that person was not charged with theft as there was no proof he was the one who actually stole the bike.

In January, another “bait bike” stolen from Reed College that was tracked to a van full of stolen bikes and drugs in Clackamas County.

Myers said the program is working and thefts are down significantly since it started last year.

“It seems to be a really effective system they’re doing,” sophomore and campus bike rider Grace McNalley told Fox 12.

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