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Hundreds of stolen bikes recovered by UW-Madison police

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MADISON (WITI) — If you been the victim of a bike theft in the last ten years, the UW-Madison Police Department may have your bike.

On Tuesday, March 3rd, the UW-Madison Police Department executed four search warrants related to a bike theft investigation which began in May 2014. The search warrants executed spanned two counties – from a bike shop in Muscoda, to an apartment in the Town of Madison, a storage unit in the City of Madison, and to a farm in the Town of Windsor. The search warrants resulted in the discovery of more than 1,000 bikes. 600 of those bikes could be identified with serial numbers.

UWPD investigators have been cross-checking serial numbers in stolen bike databases, however it’s believed that a majority of the bikes are stolen – either the owners of those bikes never reported the theft in the first place, or the bikes were reported stolen more than two years ago (the national database for stolen bikes only spans two years).

UWPD is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying those stolen bicycles. If your bike has been stolen in Dane County, and you have the serial number, CLICK HERE and fill out the online form. You MUST have your bike’s serial number. UWPD will notify you if we have your bike. UWPD will contact those individuals whose bikes are located.

As a result of the investigation, possession of stolen property charges are pending against 53-year-old Duane Tessmer of Town of Madison, and 57-year-old Michael Bingen of Muscoda. Official charges will be referred to the Dane County District Attorney’s Office once UWPD is able to identify exactly how many of the seized bikes are indeed stolen.

1 Comment

  • Jon B

    I know Mike Bingen. It’s possible he received stolen property. It’s possible he took a bike that was near a curb that wasn’t being thrown out. But given that both of those scenarios are possible, there are probably less than 50 bikes of the 1,000 that are stolen. I’ve also given him a 1/2 dozen high quality bikes that were thrown in the trash. People throw away a LOT of bikes in Madison. I’ve retrieved over 200 bikes that were thrown away myself in a 3 year period, and Mike’s been doing it for a couple decades. Draw your own conclusions…

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