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Shop recovers stolen bike with social media's help

The owner of Don's Bike Center is crediting a Facebook post and community support with helping him recover a $2,000 bike that was stolen in a smash-and-grab burglary late last month.The theft occurred shortly before 3 a.m. on Dec. 28 when someone began peeking in a window, then suddenly smashed the glass, entered the store and made off with the Specialized Fatboy bike — a style of "fat tire" bike originally used to ride on snow and sand but now gaining popularity as a trail bike."They're mountain bikes, but they've got motorcycle-size tires," store owner Don Hendricks said.The theft was caught on video, and after a few days Hendricks decided to post the video clip on Facebook.

Within two hours of posting it, the shop received a call from someone who had an idea of whom the thief might be. The information was passed along to Grants Pass police, who on Saturday arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with the theft.In the meantime, the video continued racking up hits."People were sharing the video," Hendricks said. "It kind of went viral."Ted Hendricks, Don's son, said that by the time they removed the video from Facebook it had been viewed around 22,000 times. In addition to a number of tips, the shop received a swelling of support, with people posting sympathetic messages on Facebook.The bike has been recovered and is back at the shop. It appears the thief rode it around a little bit, but there was no major damage, Ted Hendricks said.Don Hendricks said there was a burglary attempt at another bike shop in town recently, and he wonders if the same person might be responsible for that.The teen suspect in the Don's Bike Center break-in has now been charged with first-degree theft, second-degree burglary and criminal mischief. He is being held in Douglas County because the three juvenile detention beds Josephine County rents in Jackson County are full.

Ted Hendricks, son of Don's Bike Center owner Don Hendricks, stands with the $2,000 'fat tire' bike that was stolen in a smash-and-grab burglary at the store in late December. Daily Courier / Melissa McRobbie