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Burglars Targeting Homeowners With High End Bikes While They Sleep

Updated: Tuesday, July 8 2014, 06:34 PM CDT

Jeff Paulsen was asleep inside his home when his garage surveillance camera caught a man stealing four bikes. Police say the burglar forcibly broke into Paulsen's garage stealing the bikes worth more than $15,000.

"It feels horrible. It's very disconcerting. I think they came in at 3 a.m. and I've been waking up at 3 a.m. every day since then and it's hard to go back to sleep," Paulsen said.

The Austin Police Department tells us since January there have been 35 similar burglaries across Austin.

Police believe the burglaries are likely connected because in each case high end mountain and road bikes are targeted.

"They are forcefully opening garages at night while people are asleep," APD Detective Evonne Mcguire said.

The burglars are brazen enough to enter knowing the owner is home -- and police say that can easily turn violent.

"It could very easily escalate. I discovered the theft about 5:30 a.m. and it was not too long before that they were in there," Paulsen said.

And the bike community is fed up. Local bike shops put together a $3,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the burglars.

"This one has escaped everyone for a long period of time and it has affected a lot of the core group of cyclists that are riding around Austin, so obviously getting people rallied around this, is a pretty easy cause," said Marty Muehlegger, the general manager of Bicycle Sports Shop.

Paulsen has just one message for the burglar: "I would ask them to get a real job and stop taking the easy way out," he said.

Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to contact Crime Stoppers or the APD Burglary Unit Tip Line at 512-974-6800.

(Photo from the Austin Police Department.)

By Rachel Kent

Burglars Targeting Homeowners With High End Bikes While They Sleep

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