Bike theft ‘kingpin’ admits crime to local TV reporter

Bike theft ‘kingpin’ admits crime to local TV reporter

KGW, Portland’s NBC affiliate station, is the latest local media outlet to take a closer look at Portland’s bike theft problem.

KGW Reporter Nina Mehlhaf took a deep dive into the issue. Her story, Chop Shops: Suspects stockpile bikes at homeless camps aired on the news last night and is now available on their website.

The focus of the story was a man named Leroy Parsons. Mr. Parsons is well-known among local police officers for his love of bikes. The only problem is he sometimes loves bikes that don’t belong to him. He’s been referred to as “the kingpin” of bike theft in downtown Portland and his mugshot is on a hot-list that PPB officers share with local bike shops. Last night KGW reported that, “Parsons has been convicted of 15 felonies and 22 misdemeanors for methamphetamine, stolen bikes, and burglary, among other charges.”

Mehlhaf and her crew got some up-close and candid footage of Parsons, who didn’t seem to mind the cameras at all. Then, just when I thought he’d claim completele innocence when asked if he was a bike thief, he cracked. Parsons looked right into the camera and offered a pretty stunning contradiction and confession:


I’m no legal expert, but I can’t help but wonder if such a bold admission of guilt could be used against by the DA the next time the cops catch him with a stolen bike.

Check out the story at

Stay tuned for some big news about our Bike Theft Task Force in the next few days. Oh, and while Mr. Parsons is still free, the PPB recently arrested another one of the most prolific downtown bike thieves. We’ll have that story soon.

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