A Portland man was arrested this week on charges that involve riding off with a 12-year-old's bike and exchanging an envelope of napkins for another bike, under the pretense that the envelope was full of cash.
The alleged bike-stealing spree began last September, when James Adkins, 33, went to Clackamas Town Center to meet a bike seller, identified in a report complied by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office as Daniel.
Adkins had responded to Daniel's Facebook ad for a $900 mountain bike, and they agreed to make the exchange at the mall. Allegedly, Adkins showed Daniel an envelope of the agreed-upon cash, which he allegedly switched out once Daniel turned his back. It was only after Adkins rode off on the bike that Daniel realized the envelope was full of napkins.
Almost two months later, Adkins responded to another Facebook ad, this time for a bike listed for $1,395 that belonged to a 12-year-old boy. Adkins met the boy and his mother Jennifer at the Clackamas Fred Meyer. During a test ride, Adkins swooped out of the lot and rode off with the bike.
In both incidents, Adkins responded to the ads using a Facebook profile with his name and photo.
Portland has a long-running problem with bicycle theft—some 3,000 bikes are reported stolen in Portland each year, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation—and it's possible to read the press release from Clackamas County as a bit of shade thrown toward the big city and its denizens.
That said, Adkins, who lives in Southeast Portland, has an extensive arrest record in the Portland area, including an alleged attempt last December to shoplift $536 worth of merchandise from the Home Depot in Troutdale.
When he was arrested on Feb. 11, for driving without a license, he was wanted on two felony warrants from Clackamas County and a misdemeanor warrant from Multnomah County. He's since been released from jail, and has a court date scheduled for March.
Don't show him your bicycle.