PORTLAND, Ore. -- An alert Portland detective spotted a van carrying high-end bikes and jotted down a license plate, leading to the arrest of a prolific bike thief.
David J. Dutcherson, 32, was taken into custody last Thursday and was scheduled for an Oct. 3 court appearance.
He allegedly stole bikes from the storage areas of three Southeast Portland apartments. Two of the bikes were valued at $3,000 each. Several other bikes valued at $1,000 or better were also stolen.
Dutcherson is suspected of burglaries in the 2600 block of Southeast Ankeny Street, the 1300 block of Southeast Umatilla Street and the 1600 block of Southeast Harold Street, police said.
He has been accused of four counts of first-degree burglary, three counts of first-degree theft, first-degree theft by receiving, and possession of heroin. He was also on probation at the time of his arrest for possession of meth.
On Sept. 16, off-duty Detective Travis Fields saw a white Ford van in the Mall 205 parking lot that held three expensive racing-type bikes in the back, according to court documents. He broadcast the plate to other officers but the van was able to leave the area.
Fields later saw a flier prepared by Portland policeman Shaun Sahli, who had investigated a bike theft from a Southeast Portland apartment. He recognized the suspect on surveillance video as the driver of the van.
A victim who had the $3,000 bike stolen said a neighbor spotted it in the quick-sale app "Offer Up" and police were contacted.
Offer Up provided Detective Fields with more details about the sale, which had taken place in the parking lot of Stark Street Pizza. Fields went there and spotted the same white van at a nearby Motel 6, which led to Dutcherson's arrest.
Police said the website Bike Index was key in reuniting several victims with their bicycles.
Dutcherson was being held in the Multnomah County jail on $185,000 bail. He had three prior felonies, six misdemeanors and 14 parole violations, court records show.
When booked, he said he has lived in 10 different residences in the past year. Dutcherson said he started using meth two years ago and last used it on the day before his arrest.