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The Golden Bike Shop is extraordinarily happy to have played the small role they did for bringing a criminal down.
“We didn't do much,” said Clay Donovan, an operations manager at the bike shop located at 722 Washington Ave. in downtown Golden. But “it feels good to be able to help out.”
Just before 4 p.m. on April 2 a man, later identified to be Michael John Mancuso, 28, came in to purchase a bike.
“He was interested in a high-end mountain bike,” Donovan said, “but he didn't seem like the typical customer.”
Donovan described the customer as “weird and sketchy.”
A sales associate helped Mancuso, who said his dad would be calling to pay for the bike over the phone with his credit card. The sales associate thought it was a little strange for a man of his age to have his dad pay for the bike, but it's not completely out of the ordinary, Donovan said. A similar transaction would take place when a family member is purchasing a bike for a School of Mines student, for example, Donovan said.
After the customer left, another sales associate, who was previously employed by a bike shop in Boulder, recognized Mancuso from a similar illegal purchase/theft at his former store.
“It was the same style of scam,” Donovan said, “by the same guy.”
Mancuso was wanted on felony warrants in Jefferson County, Boulder County, Lakewood and Clear Creek County. He is also the suspect in multiple similar theft cases throughout the metro area.
Golden Bike Shop employees called the Golden Police, who advised them to keep things rolling as normal. So they allowed the sale to happen but called Mancuso and told him he would have to come back the next day to pick up the bike because there was a warranty issue on the brakes that needed to be straightened out.
“That allowed us a good amount of time for the Golden Police to dig into it,” Donovan said.
On April 3, the Golden Police Investigation Unit had plain-clothes officers set up in and around the bike shop, and well as uniformed officers in the surrounding area.
When Mancuso came into the bike shop to pick up his bike, an investigator approached him just outside the front door and told him he was under arrest. Mancuso fled on foot into a nearby parking lot. Several officers chased him and just before they reached him, he tripped and fell. Police immediately took him into custody.
“I think anybody whose had a bike stolen in the past can take a look at the video and feel they've gotten some justice” from this incident, Donovan said.
Mancuso is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on the outstanding warrants. For the incident at the Golden Bike Shop, Golden Police filed the following charges on a variety of crimes including class 5 felony theft, class 4 felony identity theft and class 5 felony unauthorized use of a financial transaction device.
“The arrest of this alleged serial thief happened because of some very alert employees who were able to recognize the crime happening, call police, and quickly think of a way to lure the suspect back to the store without putting themselves in danger,” said Karlyn Tilley, spokeswoman for the Golden Police. “The Golden Police commend the employees at the Golden Bike Shop for helping to hinder a major crime spree in the metro area.”
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