Posted Toronto: Scenes from the raid at The Bicycle Clinic
Posted: July 18, 2008, 2:28 PM by Rob Roberts
A cheering crowd of counter-culture Queen Westers gathered outside The Bicycle Clinic to watch as police and fire crews pulled high-end bikes from the overpacked local bike shop last night, one day after the store’s owner was arrested for stealing bikes in the Queen Street West area.
Those who were at the late-night raid described the scene as a celebration, as strangers gathered and swapped stories, exchanged “oohs and aahs” as the bikes were funneled from the shop into a moving truck and applaud as a shop many described as a “blight” was shut down.
“It was becoming a street fest,” said Verha Kohut, a 10-year area resident who walked by the scene with her stepdaughter. “I mean, last night was like a scene out of a movie. I almost wish that I was a film producer because this was rich. One kind of wants a big camera and a boom (microphone) and go, ‘OK, this is it. This is a scene I can film and put into a flick.’”
The sweep came one day after store owner Igor Kenk was arrested for bike theft, after police allegedly watched the long-time owner direct another man to steal two bikes parked at nearby Trinity Bellwood Park.
Police and fire crews funneled nearly 150 bikes out of the store, the accused’s residence and a nearby storage garage. Det. Sgt. Ed Roseto described the crowd as excited, enthusiastic and thankful.
“When a nice bike would come out of the second floor window there, the people across the street would all start clapping. The crowd gathered there would cheer and clap,” he said, laughing. “They looked very happy that we executed that search warrant. We got a great reception from the community last night.”
Bike theft in the area has become a major concern, Det. Sgt. Roseto said, with 96 bikes reported stolen in the past six weeks.
The store is unrelated to the Bike Clinic on Harbord Street near Ossington.
Mr. Kenk, 49, and Jean Laveau, 47, are each charged with theft, attempted theft, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.
The recovered bicycles are available for public viewing tomorrow and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Central Garage at 9 Hanna Street.