Police: Pair Using Power Saw Suspected in Evanston Bike Thefts

Pair suspected of stealing more than two dozen other bicycles

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    Evanston Police
    Keith D. Freedman (top), Albert L. Sauls (bottom) and the recovered saw.

    Two men caught using a power saw to steal a locked bicycle Saturday in downtown Evanston are suspected of stealing more than two dozen other bicycles in the northern suburb, police claim.

    Keith D. Freedman, 45, and Albert L. Sauls, 43, are both charged with felony theft, Evanston police said in a release. Freedman was also charged with criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor.

    Plainclothes detectives investigating bicycle thefts downtown first spotted the men about 2:15 p.m., and saw them casing bicycle racks near Church Street and Benson Avenue, police said.

    Detectives continued to watch them, and allegedly saw one man take a battery-powered power saw out of his backpack and cut the lock off a Diamondback mountain bike secured to a rack near Maple and Clark streets, police said.

    The man began to ride away, but police caught him after a brief foot chase, police said. His alleged accomplice was also arrested.

    Authorities claim the men acted together. One of the suspects would pick out a high-end bicycle locked to an object, then the other would cut the lock, police allege.

    Detectives recovered a saw, battery packs and cutting blades, police said. An analysis of other incidents indicates they may be responsible for more than two dozen other bike thefts in Evanston.

    Freedman, of the 3700 block of West Cullom Avenue, and Sauls, of the 5600 block of Old Orchard Road in Skokie, will next appear at the Skokie courthouse on June 18, police said. Bond information was not immediately available.

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