Police have identified the man who allegedly brought two small children on a bike-stealing mission on the Upper East Side this month, and investigators believe he's stolen roughly $16,000 worth of bicycles since October.
Police identified and arrested 28-year-old Jose Torres on Saturday, 48 hours after releasing footage of his most recent lift. The boosted bicycles were a Cannondale Ventura valued at $720, and a silver Jamis Nova worth $1,300.
Torres is allegedly connected to four other bicycle burglaries in recent months, all of which resulted in arrest. On April 5th, police say he lifted a bicycle worth $6,800 from the front window display at Ciel Bicycle Store on East 65th Street. According to the police report, he managed to roll the bike calmly out of the store's front entrance. On January 4th Torres allegedly stole a bike of undocumented value from the hallway of 339 East 116th Street, and allegedly burgled a bike valued at $3,000 from a 3rd Avenue apartment building on December 31st. On October 18th, he set out to test-drive a $4,900 bike at NYCeWheels on York Avenue, and according to police he never came back.
For the most recent incident, involving the balloon-laden stroller and unassuming children, Torres has been charged with burglary and acting in a manner injurious to a child.
Meanwhile, he's become as an unwitting PSA for the recent spike in bike theft.