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Smash and grab thieves shoveled snow before taking E-bikes

A pair of womens' E-bikes worth more than $9,000 were stolen from Ross' Bike Works on Tuesday night
Ross Taylor outside of Ross' Bike Works. Thieves stole a pair of women's E-Bikes on Tuesday night. Before the break-in, they shoveled out front and left the shovel behind.

Ross Taylor said the thieves who allegedly smashed their way into his Stratford business probably didn't know they stole women's E-bikes. 

The thieves, oddly enough, were filmed by Taylor's security system shovelling a walkway out front before breaking into Ross' Bike Works on Tuesday night. 

"They wanted it to look like they were working, fitting in," Taylor told StratfordToday.  

Taylor was tired but buoyed by community support on Wednesday. Residents sent well-wishes through social media and some even provided gifts. Though he has good insurance, Taylor said losing two E-bikes that retail for more than $9,000 total was tough, particularly at this time of year.

"It was a big hit." 

Two Liv E-bikes, described as the "latest in E-bike technology", were stolen. Taylor said after the break-in, at 10:30 p.m., the duo rode the bikes, going through Allen's alley, crossing Erie Street to Dunny's Sports back parking lot and then climbing over a fence. 

"They threw the bikes over the fence to get away," he said. 

From there, with Stratford police in the area, the duo continued to ride away and avoided capture after biking down Church Street. Police lost the thieves around St. Patrick Street, Taylor said. 

It all happened as a wintry blast had descended on the city. 

Taylor is hopeful residents in the area can check their home security systems or come forward if they recognize the person in a still image from Taylor's security camera (below). The fact that the person was smoking and lifting his head to exhale helped capture the image, Taylor said. 

A still image of one of two people alleged to have broken into Ross' Bike Works on Tuesday night. contributed photo

Video from a small window of time, shortly after the 10:30 p.m. break-in, could help solve the case. 

"If people could get together and look at their cameras, we would know who they are," he said. 

Though it's a long shot, the red shovel left behind could also help lead police to the suspects. 

There was a lot of speculation on social media about who the thieves are and some people have suggested to Taylor who it could be. 

The stolen bikes don't particularly look like a women's brand, Taylor said. 

Taylor said E-bikes account for more than half of his revenue, and have helped the business turn the corner after focusing on mountain bikes and street bikes before that. Taylor has been in the bike business since 1975 when started working at Wheel Goods of Stratford, a company he bought four years later.

He sold that business, later re-named Totally Spoke'd, which is still running on Ontario Street, a number of years ago before opening Ross' Bike Works at 38 Wellington Street in 2011.

Anyone with information can contact Stratford Police Service at 519-271-4141. 

One of the E-bikes stolen from Ross' Bike Works. contributed photo