Aug 18, 2022 - News

Police give stolen bike victim the runaround

Yellow specialized bike on a bike rack
The police department has had possesion of the bike since it was recovered in June. Photo courtesy of Adam Talbott.

A frustrated Cass Tech science teacher just wants his stolen bike back after Detroit police told him two months ago he could retrieve it.

  • "It feels like they're sending me on a wild goose chase," Adam Talbott tells Axios.

Driving the news: In early June, the Lafayette Park resident noticed his bike lock on the ground inside his garage and figured he'd never see his bike again.

  • Talbott called the police department's non-emergency number to report it just in case.
  • To his surprise, they called back days later informing him they had already recovered it.

What happened: A few weeks later, Talbott says the department connected him with the victim liaison Gregory Bentley, who said it could take two to three weeks before the department would be able to release his bike in case it became part of an investigation.

The intrigue: On June 23, Bentley returned Talbott's messages via email, saying the department was unable to release his bike until after court proceedings were over.

  • But one day later, Talbott connected with a different officer, who assured him the bike could be picked up at any time.
  • When he went to the 9th precinct on June 24, though, it wasn't there. And he's since lost contact with Bentley, the only officer who had been able to provide information.

What they're saying: When asked about this case, an officer who declined to identify herself said Bentley hadn't been answering Talbott's messages because he had left that office.

  • The officer also told Axios the department had already released the bike to him back in June.
  • The warrant issued for the case was never signed by the prosecutor's office, according to Detroit Police Cpl. Dan Donakowski, who says he's not sure what is causing the holdup but that the department is still working on returning the bike.

The big picture: The police department wasn't able to provide data on frequency of bike thefts, but tells Axios stolen bikes aren't often actually recovered to the victim.

  • Talbott is hopeful his ordeal doesn't happen to others who might rely on their bike for transportation.
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