Austin man accused of participating in organized crime ring of bicycle thieves

Crime
Bicycles_241894

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police have arrested a man accused of being a part of a ring of reported bicycle thieves believed to have stolen several in the Austin area.

According to the arrest warrant, Michael Van Cutts, 34, was caught on surveillance video at the Apple facility in north Austin with two other people trespassing into a secure garage.

The three were reportedly shown attempting to steal a locked bicycle but were unsuccessful. The suspects in the video then left the scene in a white single-cab Ford F-150.

In September, APD responded to a trespassing call in a secure parking garage in an apartment building. Body-worn camera footage from this incident allowed police to identify Cutts and an accomplice, Augustine Garza, as suspects in the attempted bike theft at Apple.

In the affidavit, there were other identifying factors that lead to the warrant for Cutts, including the white Ford F-150 as well as an Under Armour branded hat that can be seen in the September and November incidents.

A criminal history check conducted by APD confirms that Cutts has five theft convictions and multiple criminal offenses in Austin.

On Nov. 21, APD officers responded to a burglary call at the Guthrie Apartments near East Seventh Street. The victim reported that four of his bicycles, worth an estimated $12,000, had been stolen from the garage.

A silver car and a Ford F-150 were seen pulling up to the building with several men carrying the bicycles out and into the vehicles.

Cutts was arrested on Dec. 1, fleeing from a silver Toyota, identified from a previous call to belong to Garza. Another stolen bicycle was found inside of the vehicle. Police also located a cell phone with the identifier of “Gus Garza,” further linking the pair together.

Cutts was booked in Travis County Jail. He faces a third degree felony charge of engaging in organized criminal activity and a bond of $10,000.

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