UW Police seize hundreds of suspected, stolen bicycles - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW Police seize hundreds of suspected, stolen bicycles

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 MUSCODA (WKOW) -- UW Police officers seized hundreds of bicycles in Muscoda, Windsor, and other locations, as at least one target of the raids complains he's been treated unjustly.

UW Police spokesperson Marc Lovicott says the execution of search warrants Tuesday is part of a months-long investigation into bicycle thefts.

Barnyard Bicycle First owner Mike Bingen of Muscoda tells 27 News more than one hundred bicycles were seized from his business by officers.  Search warrant documents provided to Bingen state officers were seeking stolen property.

Bingen maintains only a fraction of his inventory of bicycles were potentially stolen.  Bingen tells 27 News he receives bicycles and bicycle parts from Duane Tessmer of Madison man.  Bingen says he also purchases bicycles and parts on Ebay, and recovers discarded bikes.  He says bicycles provided to him by Tessmer are also often discarded, or in disrepair, or both.

Bingen says more than four hundred bicycles were seized by officers from Bingen's bicycle storage space in Windsor.

27 News has yet to be able to reach Tessmer for comment.

Bingen maintains the officers involved in the raid at his business were unwilling to listen to his perspective, or view records of purchases on his computer.   "They told me, 'On the floor! One the floor!' I just stood and wanted to talk to them about what was going on,"  Bingen tells 27 News.

Bingen remains hopeful most of his seized inventory of bicycles will be returned to him.

There's no sign marking Bingen's bicycle shop on the main drag of the small, Grant County village, nor is there much space to maneuver inside the interior space cluttered with tires, rims, fenders, and other parts.  Bingen says about half of the seized bikes were in the building's back yard behind corrugated metal fences.

Lovicott says there's been no arrests or criminal charges lodged at this point in the probe.  Search warrant documents provided to Bingen simply identify bicycles as the items sought by officers, on suspicion they are stolen property.

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