APD release more information on alleged bike thief James Clayton
Posted Feb 10 2009 11:43am
Austinite James Clayton was arrested Tuesday on burglary and theft charges regarding $60,000 worth of high end bikes
This morning Detective Scott Askew with the Austin Police Department held a press conference regarding the arrest and property raid of James Clayton, an Austin cyclist allegedly linked to dozens of high end bike thefts in the last year.
“On Tuesday, February 3, the Austin Police Department acted on a search warrant for the residence and storage unit of James Clayton,” Askew said. “Clayton took part in the theft of high end bikes in Austin over the last two years.”
Askew explained that Clayton would befriend local cyclists and use the relationship to find out additional information that helped him in the thefts. While Clayton told people he ran a coaching business, it is believed that the sale of the stolen bikes and their parts, primarily over the internet, was his primary form of income. Approximately $60,000 in bikes and parts were seized Tuesday including about 20 complete bikes.
“The bike community really came together to help solve this case,” Askew continued. He indicated tips from Austin cyclists aided in building they APD believes is a very strong case against Clayton. Sites like ATXBS, which broke this story yesterday, have kept the pressure on Clayton.
APD Detective Scott Askew cracked the case against alleged bike thief James Clayton with the help of Austin' s cycling community.
In addition to the felony charges Austin Police arrested Clayton on, there were also three burglary theft charges from Arizona that were filed in 2006 shortly before Clayton was believed to have moved to Austin. Askew stated that Clayton had a record of thefts in California and Arizona going back to the 1990s. He is currently in jail on these charges.
Aksew did say that they have reunited one of the stolen bikes with its owner, however it will be very difficult to do that for everyone effected, especially if the parts have already been sold. Askew asked people who’ve had high end bikes stolen in the last two years and have serial numbers and/or pictures to contact him, but he stressed that they believe all the thefts occurred with people who had direct contact with Clayton or by a friend to Clayton. He also said they are looking for witnesses who may have seen a 1990 red Ford Bronco with Arizona plates in conjunction with any burglaries or thefts.
“We encouraged people who own bikes or any high value items to record their serial numbers and take pictures, “Askew concluded. “This greatly aids in our ability to solve cases.”
Anyone with information about these thefts or who believe they were a victim are asked to call Detective Scott Askew at 512-974-5978.