A stolen bicycle with GPS led Portland authorities to a secret room behind a bookcase in an abandoned home.
A hidden GPS on a "bait bike" stolen from Reed College in Portland led police to a deserted home 2 miles southeast of the campus on Oct 21, KPTV reports.
The bike was part of a an initiative to curb bike thefts on campus, acceding to college spokesman Kevin Myers. Myers said these bait bikes litter the campus to tantalize thieves.
“So when this bike moves 2 feet in any direction roughly, we get an alert to a cellphone and then we’re able to track this bike, essentially it looks like Google Maps, wherever it goes from there,” Myers said.
College safety officers tracked the bike's signal to the home, where they cooperated with Portland Police officers. Officers did not need a warrant to enter the premises, as the property had been donated to the city.
They did not find the bike until they discovered a bookcase that was hiding a secret room.
“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. “[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 was found inside the building and was arrested for criminal trespass. Myers said the man was not charged with theft as there was no proof he actually stole the bike.
Myers said bike theft on campus has gone down since the program was implemented in 2014.
Bike theft is still a major issue in Oregon. Oregon Live reported bike thefts have increased since 2007, and more than 2,100 bikes, worth more than $1 million combined, were stolen in Portland in 2014.