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Suspected bike thief 'ran out of bikes to steal'

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 10:07 pm

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. -- Longboat Key Police say they arrested a man suspected of stealing dozens of bikes, telling them he "ran out of bikes to steal."

"The suspect says he'd stolen 100 bikes off the island in the last 3-4 months," said Detective Sergeant Robert Bourque of the Longboat Key Police Department.

The suspect is convicted felon 25-year old Daniel Upton. Police say his background includes everything from masked armed robberies to thefts--but they wanted him for stealing dozens of bikes and bringing them to pawn shops, some of them costing as much as $3,000 dollars.

"It was different times of the day, different parts of the island, no rhyme or reason," he said.

Police say they found the bike thief by catching his license plate on the Longboat Key's License Plate Recognition camera that routinely photographs every plate that comes onto Longboat.

"This was able to put the suspect in a time-frame when the burglaries were happening, so between other evidence and this right here, it's a very useful tool," explained Deputy Chief Frank Rubino.

Useful is right. This camera picks up on dozens of suspects a day.

"We get 50-60 hits (daily), for everything from suspended license plates, to sexual predators, it can be a number of things," Rubino said.

In this case, it helped catch a suspected serial bike thief, who's now cooling his wheels in the Manatee County Jail.

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