EUGENE, Ore. -- A month after his bike was stolen in Eugene, Ben Madden crossed the finish line of the Trans Am Bike Race this week, and a suspect in the theft has been arrested.
The Virginia man was in last place after the theft but finished 61st out of 117 racers in the cross-country race that spanned from Astoria to Yorktown, Virginia.
One of the first things he did was snap a picture of him holding a sign saying “I love Eugene,” a nod to the community and police department that helped him locate his missing bike.
RELATED: STOLEN RACING BIKE RETURNED TO OWNER
“I have a stronger connection with Eugene right now than any other city in the country because of what you guys did,” Madden said. “I mean there were literally hundreds of people out looking for my bike, trying to recover my bike. And if I could give one shout out for the Eugene Police Department for putting so much pressure on the local community that they basically had to cough the bike up.”
The bike and gear, worth $10,000, were stolen from the Safeway store on Coburg Road June 4. Four days later, Madden was reunited with his bike, but Madden said it was severely damaged.
Officers recognized Roman Hoekstra, 22, on June 17, as the suspect in the bike theft. Police arrested Hoekstra on probable cause for first-degree theft and transported him to the Lane County Jail. KEZI 9 News has learned Hoekstra is no longer in custody.