Waterloo Regional Police say raids on addresses in Kitchener and Waterloo have broken up two separate bicycle chop shops, which may have been responsible for a recent uptick in bicycle thefts across the region.

Police stumbled onto the first of two chop shops on Saturday, after a keen-eyed officer spotted a man pushing two bicycles on Weber Street North near the regional police North Division headquarters in Waterloo.

The 35-year-old man of no fixed address was stopped and arrested after police learned that one of the two bicycles in his possession was stolen.

The arrest led officers to 154 Erb Street East in Waterloo, where police found a number of bicycles they believe were stolen, though only one of them carried a serial number belonging to a stolen bike.

The second chop was discovered by police on Sunday after a 34-year-old man was arrested for possessing a stolen bike.

The arrest led police to a home on Weber Street West in Kitchener, where another eight stolen bicycles were recovered by officers.

Investigators are now warning anyone looking to buy a new set of wheels to be wary that the bike could be stolen.

Among the signs police say buyers should look for are: 

  • Bicycles that have been repainted
  • Bicycles with destroyed or modified serial numbers
  • Bicycles that have been built using a variety of parts
  • Any bicycle with a price that seems too good to be true