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Denver retailer suffers break-in, learns some lessons

Published November 7, 2017

DENVER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Someone drove a pickup truck through the front of SloHi Coffee + Bike early Saturday, then loaded up the truck with seven pricey bikes and drove off.

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Owner Adam Williams is a bike retail veteran, but told BRAIN the experience still taught him a few things, like: always record bike serial numbers, consider locking up bikes at night, and consider using small GPS trackers in display bikes.

"There are a lot of little things that shops are not good about doing that could make life easier when something like this happens," Williams told BRAIN on Tuesday, as he completed insurance paperwork related to the break-in.

SloHi is a small bike shop and a coffee shop that Williams runs as stand-alone businesses, with a large opening between the cafe area and the bike shop. 

Security cameras show that the thieves — three or four males — cased the location for several hours before finally driving right through the front of the coffee shop part of the business. 

"The whole front of the coffee shop is mostly gone," Williams said. Once inside, the thieves very quickly grabbed bikes, including several e-bikes, and some carbon gravel bikes, a carbon mountain bike and a custom Rodeo Traildonkey adventure bike. "All expensive bikes," Williams said. He said police later found the truck, which may have been stolen as well. 

After seeing the store damage early Saturday, Williams took a photo for the shop's Instagram page and was surprised by the outpouring of community support.

"It felt funny sending it out, because I'm not one to talk about myself, and it was kind of a pity post. But at that point it was five in the morning and I just said, 'I don't care,' and sent it. And it got shared about 100 times, with people from all over leaving messages, so it was nice to see."

Williams was able to quickly reopen both businesses with a temporary plywood covering. Customers are using markers to leave comments on the plywood, like signatures on a cast, with a free drink offered to the best joke. While the store is rebuilding, Williams also signed a lease this week to open a second location soon. 

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