A Poway bike shop has been burglarized four times in the last year, despite the owners doubling down on security and safety improvements meant to stall the capers.
Burglars used crowbars to open doors and smash glass at Fly Rides Bike Shop. Then when metal bars were installed, they came back with a reciprocating saw to cut them down. The most recent incident, though, has left investigators and shop operators more baffled than ever before.
“Hugely infuriating,” COO Max Shenk said, describing his predicament.
With each burglary, Shenk ends up spending more time and money to protect the shop.
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“Really, the biggest cost has been all the added security we’ve had to put in. $40,000 in all the added security,” Shenk said.
That $40,000 paid for cameras, metal roll-down doors and metal mesh over each window. He hired an overnight security guard for six weeks and now has a 24-hour security company monitoring the business.
What has he learned from all this?
“That they will find a way, and that’s our biggest concern,” he said.
On Wednesday morning, someone turned off the main breaker to the complex and his alarms and surveillance equipment went dark for about 90 minutes. In that time, according to Shenk, someone or a group broke the window in the back of the store and sawed through the metal mesh, but gave up after realizing there was still a metal door to get through. Unfortunately, his security team was blinded by the outage.
“They don’t know what happened, they just lost signal. Nothing they could see, nothing on camera. There is a solid hour and a half where the camera just skipped,” he explained.
When the cameras came back on there was an SDG&E bucket truck leaving the parking lot. An agency spokesperson said a troubleshooter responded to the complex to investigate a power outage notification.
While the popularity of electric bikes seemed to grow overnight, Shenk does not accept the idea that these break-ins at his shop are the price of doing business.
“Our worry is if they figured out how to get through those steps, what’s the next stage in them trying to trick our system and break in here?” he wondered.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department told NBC 7 deputies are investigating all four cases.