By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police are trying to match up stolen bicycles with their owners, after a bust turned up more than 50 stolen bikes in the basement of a suspect.

When Philadelphia homicide detectives arrested a suspect on West Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia, they observed evidence of an illegal dogfighting operation, and 11 dogs were rescued (see related story).

Then, another discovery in the basement: a large number of bicycles.

“Some of them, pretty nice.   Some middle-of-the-road, and some, well, low-end,” says Sgt. Joseph Cella, with the Major Crimes Unit.

“We’re not certain who they belong to.  In cataloging them, we have a description of the make, model, color, and serial number of the bicycles,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

He figures most of them were pinched from North Philadelphia, or near the river drives of Fairmount Park.

Cella says images of the stolen bikes will be posted on the web site.   People wanting to claim them would need to prove they own the bikes, such as providing serial numbers and/or a detailed police report of the theft.

His advice to bicycle owners worried about a theft in the future: jot down the serial number, make, model, and description, take a photo of it, and keep your sales receipt.

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