Seattle thief opens up on how he steals bicycles and why he does it

SEATTLE -- When detectives on Seattle's Major Crimes Task Force arrested a bike thief, they found a backpack full of his tools of the trade.

Along with a dozen needles, police found bolt cutters, a clamp, a jack and bike lock keys.

The 29-year-old suspect agreed to talk with us if we protected his identity.

He says he steals bikes to feed his addiction to heroin. He can get anywhere from $100 to $300 for a stolen bike and up to $400 for a high-end customized model.

"For the most part I`m not greedy so if I get a bike and it pays me $250 then I`m not going to go take another bike for a couple of days, you know."

He spends his days prowling parking garages and downtown apartment buildings.

"For the most part I`m waiting for someone to come out of their garage and for the most I have to do is sneak in and if there`s a bike room I just have to open the bike room and from there I just slip a bike, pop the tires up and ride out."

Seattle police say he's part of a group of thieves targeting cyclists.

"To protect your bike, the best thing you can do is to chain up your bicycle using a Kryptonite lock, combine the frame and the tire around something to make it more difficult to steal the entire bike or to not just steal one part of a bike," said Capt. Eric Sano with the Major Crimes Task Force.

Still, the thief we interviewed says he can beat any bike lock if given enough time. He says it matters more where you leave it.  He says a high-traffic public area will slow him down.

"I feel bad for taking every day but I don`t` see any way of, anything else I`m not good at other stuff that they`re doing out there," he said.