An alleged bike thief was arrested within moments of Olympia Police taking a report of its theft last Friday.
On May 7, Charles Engle, 37, was spotted on State Ave NE by an OPD officer who had heard the description of a bike that was reported stolen.
The victims of the case reported the crime initially because someone had entered their open garage, leaving items inside a yellow construction type jacket, a red zip-up hoody, and a pink and blue Burton backpack, as well as a black Huffy bicycle and an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that had no name on it.
The victims noticed later and relayed to dispatch, that their $350 1980s model white Cannondale road bike with yellow tires was missing.
When officers attempted to make contact and flashed their siren and lights, Engle rode the bike at a high rate of speed, turning west into an alley behind the Silver Saloon at 2752 Pacific Avenue SE. Engle abandoned the bike, went into the Silver Saloon’s back door, then ran out the front and toward the Perfect Cup Espresso across Pacific Ave SE.
Officers caught up with Engle and arrested him. Engle voluntarily stated, according to the police report, that he “preferred riding stolen bikes because when they were stolen from him later, it was not as big of a deal.”
The officer who took the original report returned the bicycle to its owner, who lives about a mile from the Silver Saloon. She reported to police that "there was no damage to the bike since it had been stolen, other than the seat being raised."
Engle was booked into the Olympia Jail where he was booked on obstruction of a law enforcement officer and possession of stolen property. Officers said that if a check of the EBT card determines that it was assigned to Engle it will establish that he was in the garage and removed the bicycle which would lead to an additional charge of residential burglary.