Second bike theft suspect arrested

A Hillsborough County man suspected in a recent string of bicycle thefts at USF was in jail Friday after his sale of a stolen bike to a local pawn shop was caught by University Police and a warrant was put out for his arrest Wednesday.

Carlos Lewis, 29, of 12733 19th St., was booked on six counts, including grand theft, trespassing, defrauding a pawnbroker, dealing in stolen property, cocaine possession and carrying a concealed weapon. He is being held at Orient Road Jail on a $14,500 bond.

On Oct. 3, UP had released an alert through its Web site, declaring Lewis a suspected bike thief after officers learned he had pawned a student’s bike in a local pawn shop.

Tracy Goodman, a UP detective, was scanning a listing of pawn shop merchandise Wednesday when she discovered Lewis had sold a bike reported stolen from campus to a local Value Pawn.

Though the bike was valued at $700, Lewis pawned it for just $20, Goodman said.

“This guy is facing three felonies for $20,” Goodman said before Lewis’ arrest.

The victim, who preferred to remain anonymous, reported the theft Sept. 16 and provided UP with the bike’s serial number.

“I went downstairs and I looked at the rack and (the bike) wasn’t there. I was really confused. I saw the lock was cut and I was really upset because it was a good bike,” she said.

The victim said she had to pay $20 to Value Pawn to get her bicycle back.

While pawn listings tipped off investigators in this case, no other stolen bikes have turned up in area pawnshops.

Lewis has had various prior arrests in the last five years, for offenses including battery and possession of marijuana, according to arrest records.

UP hasn’t been able to link Lewis to any other bike thefts at USF at this time, Goodman said.

“I think a lot of these guys are selling them on the street for drugs,” Goodman said.

To ensure her bike isn’t stolen again, the victim said she is taking some precautionary measures, including buying a more durable lock.

“I’m also going to be taking it upstairs at night. I would suggest everyone doing that. Otherwise, it’ll get stolen,” she said.

Christine Gibson can be reached at (813) 974-6299 or