CMU alumna reunites with bike four years after it was stolen

Alumnus Kelsey Cavazos with her bike. She was reunited with her bike Sept. 4 - four years after it was stolen.

In the process of moving to Franklin Village Apartments in the summer of 2016, Kelsey Cavazos misplaced her bike lock. By the time she bought a new one, it was too late. 

Her teal Diamondback bicycle had disappeared.

“I was kind of mad at myself for not locking up (my bike) sooner,” she said. “(I thought to myself,) ‘well, I should have expected it.'"

Cavazos received her bike for Christmas when she was 14 years old. She cherished it for 8 years before it was stolen.

Cavazos never bothered to report the incident. She graduated from CMU in December 2016, never expecting to see her bike again.

After four bike-less years, Cavazos received a voicemail from the Central Michigan University Police Department asking about a bike she had registered on campus. 

"I was like, ‘that’s very strange, it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen that bike,' so I immediately called them back," Cavazos said. "They told me they had found it, and I was totally shocked." 

Cavazos was reunited with her bike Sept. 4 at the CMU police department. The same day Cavazos retrieved her bike, CMUPD arrested a 26-year-old male connected to five different bicycle larcenies. In addition to Cavazos’ bike, CMUPD recovered:

  • A bike that was reported stolen on Aug. 19 outside of Calkins Hall
  • A tire rim that was reported stolen off a bike on Aug. 28
  • A bike that was reported stolen on Sept. 2 outside of Larzelere Hall
  • A $1,200 bike that was likely stolen but has no reports related to it

During the four years her bike was missing, Cavazos never purchased a new one. After she graduated and moved to Jackson for work as a graphic designer, the need just wasn't there.

Her bike seemed to return at exactly the right time. Cavazos is in the process of moving from Jackson to Ann Arbor, a bicycle-friendly city.

 “(Going to the police department) was very surreal,” she said. “I kept thinking it was a mistake, but then they showed me my bike, and I was like, ‘That is 100 percent my bike.’ I never thought it was real until I had it back.”

She said recently she considered buying a new bike and wondered what had happened to her bike only a "week or so" before CMUPD called her.

"I always assumed it was sold, I figured it was long gone,” Cavazos said. “And that’s part of why I never reported it either because it was a nice bike, and I figured I would never see it again. And here we are. It’s strange to find out (the thief) was just riding (my bike) around.”

As for the state of the bike, Cavazos said the brakes need to be fixed, but otherwise, it's in good condition. The only other change, Cavazos noted, was that the bike now has a basket, which she plans on replacing.

After she takes her bike in for repairs, Cavazos said she's looking forward to riding around and exploring Ann Arbor. 

Her advice to CMU students? Cavazos recommends the U-shaped bike locks.

"I would say definitely register your bike with CMUPD because that's exactly what found my bike," she said, quickly adding, "And make sure to always lock (your bike) up."