SPOKANE, Wash – In a Connect With Kleck segment a KHQ viewer contacted Dan Kleckner saying his son's bicycle was stolen out of his pickup truck in a grocery store parking lot. A police report was filed and Robert Teal made fliers about his stolen bike and started taking them to pawn shops.
On the third try he found it at the Pawn 1 on North Division. He says he was told by police he would have to pay to get it back from the pawn shop, or wait until the case is prosecuted, which could be months, or longer. Spokane Police say this is normal for a case like this but Teal says the process frustrates him.
"It doesn't make sense to me to have to pay for something when I'm already the victim," Robert Teal told KHQ. "It was stolen from me, I don't see why I should have to pay to get something that was stolen from me, it's my property." Teal says he's an avid rider and bought his bike new last year for $525.
He put hundreds of dollars of work into customizing it and is in around $1,000 now. Spokane Police tell me the bike is now considered evidence and while it's on a police hold nobody can buy it – including Teal. Per policy, if charges are referred to the prosecutor's office, the prosecutors can decide to release the bike.
At that point, both Teal and the pawnshop would be listed as victims. Or, if Teal drops the case and decides not to press charges against the thief, it becomes a civil case and police/prosecutors are no longer involved.
In that case, Teal would work to make a deal with the pawnshop to get his bike back. But he says he wants to prosecute. "I'd like to see the guy go to jail for it, I'd like to see him do some time, pay it back," Teal added.
"But at the same time, I'd really like to have my bike back."' Spokane Police say the pawnshop has no obligation to prove ownership of items that come through their doors. In this case, police say Pawn 1 has done nothing wrong, they're following all the laws and code regulations involved in a case like this.
They do take photo ID of each person who pawns an item, and that may help police catch the thief – or at least someone who knows them.
The owner of Pawn 1 tells KHQ they're ‘caught in the middle of something that's out of their control' while the bike is on a police hold, but that they'll do everything they can to work with Teal.
The good news, unlike many theft victims, Teal will likely get his bike back, just not as quickly as he'd like.