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Earlier this afternoon, I wrote about how stupid it is to engage in random bike stops to curb a crime spree in Columbia Heights.
So when City Paper alum Mike Debonis reported that cops say they’re not engaging in random stops, they’re just targeting “known violent offenders,” I called MPD to find out how, exactly bike stops fit into this.
As we know, MPD Public Information Officer Araz Alali explained, there has been an increase in robberies involving offenders riding bikes in Columbia Heights. Cops, he says, are being encouraged to “pay more attention to known violent offenders” on two wheels. “Officers are not stopping riders at random,” he adds.
Last night, Alali said, a known offender was caught after a robbery because he was riding a bike that wasn’t his.
And how does one prove that a bike is stolen? Alali admitted it’s difficult to do so unless the theft is reported. “If a bike is stolen, we take it for evidence,” he said. In the case of the robber last night, he wasn’t arrested because of the bike, he was arrested because of the goods.
As for the bike? It’s unclear what happened to it. Since it wasn’t proven stolen (yet, somehow, the cops knew it wasn’t his), it’s probably in bike purgatory somewhere.