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Wheely good timing: Bike thief nabbed

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Cops have put the brakes on a bicycle thief who may be responsible for five free-wheeling heists.

Police said the thief, who was not named, would go into local apartment buildings, removing two-wheelers parked in the vestibule our outside of residential apartments.

His bicycle spree began on January 15, explained Captain Kenneth Corey, the commanding officer of the 76th Precinct.

The thief was ultimately apprehended after he was seen exiting a Henry Street building near Carroll Street at 1:30 a.m. on January 30.

When cops found him he had a bolt cutter, hammer, screwdriver, wire cutters and pliers on him.

“He even had a bike pump on him, in case he stole a bike with a flat tire,” Captain Corey explained, adding that the thief was recently taken into custody for robbery -- one of 22 arrests he already has on his jacket.

“Not all of them have been for bikes,” he said. “He’s an opportunistic thief.”

At the 76th Precinct Community Council Tuesday, Captain Corey said the suspect was targeting multi-family homes.

In all the cases, the door to the hallway or vestibule was locked, Corey said, and it was his anti-crime squad that spotted the suspect last exiting the multi-family building carrying a large bag.

Instinct paid off. When the suspect was stopped, a search of the bag revealed the bolt cutters, pliers and bicycle pump.

“He had all the tools of the trade on him,” Corey said, adding that they cannot conclusively connect him to all five break-ins, although no bicycle thefts have been reported since his arrest.

Corey said that to prevent future bicycle thefts from happening, building managers should make sure that their front doors are locked at all times.

They should also sign up for free security surveys offered by the NYPD.

For more information, one can call the 76th Precinct at (718) 834-3211. All calls will be kept confidential.

—with Gary Buiso

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