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Bike Sting Nabs Igor At His Bicycle Clinic

Posted by Roger Cullman / July 17, 2008

Bike lock on bike post after bike was stolenBike thieves in Toronto beware: The police are on your trail.

As Sun Media reported this morning, Igor Kenk, who owns the infamous Bicycle Clinic on Queen St. W. and Strachan Ave. was arrested last night by plainclothes police officers after they allege to have caught him in the act.

Since almost 5,000 bikes have been reported stolen this year alone in Toronto, it's a relief to hear that the police are finally doing something constructive to combat this ongoing problem.

Just about everyone I know who rides a bike in Toronto has had one ripped off. I once had my bike seat and post stolen even after having it bolted.

Oftentimes stolen bikes and bike parts end up at shady second-hand bike stores like Igor's.

Aside from offering these tips and providing a bicycle registration program, Toronto cops have largely turned a blind eye to this ongoing problem in our city.

Until now.

What's your experience with Igor's Bicycle Clinic? Do you think this arrest will do much to lower the bike theft rate in our city? Will it deter other bicycle thieves in Toronto?

Toronto Bike's Dan T. fixes a bike in Kensington MarketIf you need an alternative to Igor's Bicycle Clinic, perhaps consider visiting one of the Best Bike Stores in Toronto. Or consider one of the Toronto Bike mobile ride and clinics organized by Dan Teleki (pictured above) at various locations around Toronto.

Ever had your bike stolen in Toronto? Got some tips on how to stop bicycle thieves in Toronto?

Update (Friday afternoon): Police have recovered 150 supposedly stolen bikes from inside Igor's shop and are having an open house Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Come see if your bike is among the recovered rides at the public viewing at Central Garage, 9 Hanna Street.

Photos by Roger Cullman.



Corina / July 17, 2008 at 12:43 pm
What an unbelievable sting... I'm going to assume we're leaving the clinic's name out of the story for 'legal' purposes.
kate / July 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm
finally. i've heard of people going in there and finding their bike after it was stolen and having to buy it back. it always shocked me that people were still going to him for repairs and helping to keep his business going. sadly, i wonder how long it'll take before he's back out there and doing it again.
ryth / July 17, 2008 at 12:48 pm
About freaking time! Everyone, including the cops, have known this guy sells stolen merch for years and haven't done anything about it until now. I hope they at minimum fine this guy out of business.

Now if we could just fine all the idiots who buy from him and keep him in business.
Adam / July 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I just bought a bike, and although it's a pretty decent one, it doesn't look like it, and I'm planning to double lock whenever I'm riding it downtown.
Ryan L. / July 17, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Igors was mentioned as a place of stolen bikes a week ago in the morning brew's comments.

"A shitty commuting bike is key unless you have a safe place to store it (i.e. building parking garage, bike locker etc.). My commuting bike is a 13 year hybrid my dad gave me when he got a new one. That didn't prevent it from getting stolen, but I managed to get it back within 20 minutes. Saw it sitting out front of that really shady bike place on Queen across from Trinity-Bellwoods as I was morosely riding the streetcar. The guy gave it back and promised not to buy bikes again from the guy who brought mine in, but Igor was still really shady." - Mark

Hope this news story helps Mark some closure on his stolen bike saga.
rotenblog / July 17, 2008 at 01:06 pm
nice post. lots of good links.
Carsten Nielsen / July 17, 2008 at 01:17 pm
Finally, they got that son of a bitch!
zik / July 17, 2008 at 01:17 pm
I am so happy to see this place get shut down. I used to work as a bike messenger and lived right around the corner from his shop for years so I am very familiar with the guy and he is nothing but a scumbag. Over the past few years he has tried to cover up this fact to the new people moving into the hood..

it is very good to see after so many years this guy finally getting caught in the act.
john / July 17, 2008 at 01:17 pm
People who steal bikes are such low-lifes.

They hurt the people that depend on them the most. Many of the people I know who are riding bicycles in the city do so because their budget is stretched already that transit is expensive. IT IS THEIR ONLY WAY TO GET AROUND!

This news makes me really happy, the only sore spot is that it took the Toronto Sun to do an article before the police even did anything. With the high number of bike thefts in this city (2 for me in the last 3 years), you would think they would have an active bike bait program.
redleaf / July 17, 2008 at 01:35 pm
I was all excited about the link to the CAN-Bike courses but can someone explain to me why most of the courses continue in July and August (and even September!) but CAN-BIKE 1 - learning to ride in traffic is already over for the year? Adult Learn to Ride 1 - 2 go to the end of August but if you want to ride safely in traffic you have to wait till next year?
Mark / July 17, 2008 at 01:43 pm
Ryan L.: This is sweet news indeed. Despite the fact that it was a crappy bike (purple, 13 years old, clunky, heavy, needs new brakes/everything), it still sucks getting a bike taken. I actually saw a cruiser out front of the shop today on my morning commute and wondered if Igor got busted, then I read about it when I got into the office.
breerion / July 17, 2008 at 01:44 pm
when I had my bike stolen, it was actually the first place I looked...
it's really bad karma to steal bikes for profit. it's like taking someones legs and selling them back to you for a quick profit.
Rebecca / July 17, 2008 at 01:45 pm
I don't even ride, but I live down the street from his shop front and I welcome his absence. He usually took up the whole sidewalk with his operation so no one could get by really, and was just generally an intimidating person.
zukeeper / July 17, 2008 at 02:05 pm
finally!! let's hope it sticks this time.
michkaTO / July 17, 2008 at 02:14 pm
My bike was stolen in the area last week... I reported it and the police told me to go and check out Igor's place. Umm - if they know he's a crook, why can't they be a little more proactive and get a warrant to search the place. Clearly enough people have reported finding their stolen bikes in his possession...

Maybe Igor's arrest will get the ball rolling, and the police will start to do something to reduce the crazy number of bike thefts that happen in this city.

And maybe I'll get my bike back!
GoTorontoCard / July 17, 2008 at 02:21 pm
Many people use bicycles to get to work these days so when that transportation disappears peoples livlihoods are at stake.
Dave / July 17, 2008 at 02:30 pm
Wait... Why do people buy from this guy? I mean... If his stuff looks shady why go there?

I wouldn't buy cars from a shady looking dealership, why would I buy a bike from an equally shady guy?
Michael / July 17, 2008 at 03:09 pm
Innocent until proven guilty.
Ryan L. / July 17, 2008 at 03:22 pm
I think most people don't buy cars from shady dealers because of the risk of mechanical problems with the car, and not because it might have been stolen.

You don't have to worry about internal components on a bicycle failing. Chances are if the brakes and gears work when you buy it, they will continue to do so (within reason).
Ryan L. / July 17, 2008 at 03:29 pm
I'm actually looking to buy a bike in the coming weeks. Are there other bike resellers to be wary of?
kate / July 17, 2008 at 03:40 pm
@ Ryan L.
check out:
also, it is yard sale season.
irc / July 17, 2008 at 03:50 pm
Friend of mine walked in there one day to see his one-of-a-kind Klein hanging on the wall. He just called the cops and they took it back for him. Registering your bike (and stamping that number on the frame) can pay off.
Danielle / July 17, 2008 at 04:09 pm
@michkaTO Perhaps because they've been trying to catch him in the act for a really long time?

Among cyclists in the city, most know Igor is a creep who buys stolen bikes, I'm glad they finally caught him in the act and hope they get rid of his shop for GOOD.
Larissa / July 17, 2008 at 04:15 pm
FINALLY!! (But will it stick?) This cretin has been stealing and selling bikes for YEARS here in this same location, and the cops know all about it, yet he seems to have some Teflon coating - Always comes back to do more damage to the cycling community.

I'm only sad because my Kona Kuku was JUST stolen and I was hoping to find it there! Sad but true...

*** Please note "THE BIKE CLINIC" on Harbord is NOT affiliated!! The guys there are honest mechanics and are NOT associated with Igor's "Bicyle Clinic"!!
akswun / July 17, 2008 at 04:16 pm
Ben / July 17, 2008 at 04:17 pm
Thanks for that clarification Larissa. Since I heard of the similar names sometime last week, I assumed it was a joint venture.
Lloyd Alter / July 17, 2008 at 04:19 pm
10 years ago I was working at a condo on Niagara Street at Bathurst when an expensive bike was stolen out of the garage. The cops came and I gave them the security tapes, but they said "it will probably be at Igor's tomorrow."

It's crazy that it took so long to do this. I suspect that if the block he is in had not gentrified so much it would have been another ten years. This isn't police work, it is a real estate play.
matt / July 17, 2008 at 04:28 pm
about time!
Will / July 17, 2008 at 04:32 pm
Igor operates 2/3's of the bike theft rings in the downtown core.
Lock the creep up for a month and watch what happens-
The numbers/stolen reports will decrease HUGELY
Igor offers up $25/bike and supplies the cutters- regardless if it's a $99 Canadian Tire Bike or a $1200 mountain bike.
Congrats to the Police Division in taking a first step in nailing this scum.
Huginho / July 17, 2008 at 04:35 pm
This Igor character dosen't sound like a nice dude.. I've always been hesitant to leave my bike anywhere downtown but I feel like I could now..
Jorge / July 17, 2008 at 04:42 pm
Finally!!! Igor is a scumbag. Took long enough.
Adam / July 17, 2008 at 04:43 pm
FINALLY! I'd love to open his vault and see if I can regain my Rock Hopper.

Death to all bike thieves!
RBeezy / July 17, 2008 at 04:49 pm
effing bike thieves. is there any other experience that truly unites Torontonians?
Adam / July 17, 2008 at 04:51 pm
I'll go out and recommend Sweet Pete's on Bloor West as a pick. The staff there are really cool, give you down to earth advice about locks, equipment, accessories and all you need to know about buying a bike. They let me test a bike twice (once for a good 20+ minutes) as well.
Al / July 17, 2008 at 04:54 pm
Ryan M / July 17, 2008 at 04:59 pm
Yes! Finally!
O. Terry / July 17, 2008 at 05:29 pm
So glad to hear this story!

My $650 brand new silver Marin was stolen last year from beside my friend's house in the Bloor and Dufferin area. I'll probably never see it again but I feel like police action like this might help in someway for me to get it back. Let's check the used bike buying policy of every second hand bike store in town. It should be illegal to buy and sell a stolen bike just like it's illegal to buy and sell anything else that's stolen. What is it that the police don't seem to understand about this?
Nick / July 17, 2008 at 05:43 pm
I'd have a look at the shady bike shop in Kensington. Their bikes are obviously chopped up mishmashes of multiple bikes. Call me crazy but it's certainly worth looking at.
Corina / July 17, 2008 at 05:50 pm
@ Nick, I'd just avoid that particular place altogether - bad experience.
dc / July 17, 2008 at 05:51 pm
To be honest, I bought my bike from Igor, he gave me a really fair price and lots of options. Probably the best bike buying experiance I've ever had actually. I never got the feeling that he was trying to rip me off. In fact I felt sad that I hadn't made the effort to go down there and get my bike tuned up, which he offered to do on a regular basis. He seemed to have a genuine passion for bikes.
Its too bad that he's been selling stolen bikes, I know it sucks to have a bike stolen, but at the same time he seems to be the first guy to rescue abandon rusty seemingly useless bikes from the street put them back into working order and sell them at ridiculously low prices.
I don't think the police should turn a blind eye to bike thievery by any means, but at the same time I don't think Igor is the villian he's being made out be
Jim / July 17, 2008 at 05:59 pm
I have photos and video of Igor...I watched him for awhile trying to catch him but was not successful.
matt / July 17, 2008 at 06:12 pm
does your 'registration' consist in special numbers (not removable) being 'writtren' on bikes?
Tee / July 17, 2008 at 06:22 pm
"This Igor character dosen't sound like a nice dude.. I've always been hesitant to leave my bike anywhere downtown but I feel like I could now.."

There are a couple of other bike-stealing jerks in the city, so don't feel too comfortable just yet.

I first heard shady things about Igor back in '95. Can't believe it's taken this long to nail the guy.
gorf / July 17, 2008 at 06:26 pm
I just can't understand why this guy is still stealing bikes...

He bought his shop for $85,000... That location today must be worth at least four times that, even in it's severe state of disrepair. Why not just sell the place?
gorf / July 17, 2008 at 06:28 pm
I was just told that he had been trying to sell it, it was listed for $700,000+ about half a year ago. Apparently the funeral home was up for sale too.
JeffyT / July 17, 2008 at 08:12 pm
I lost my $700 bike in Feb in my own condos parking spot!!! When I called the Police, he laughed at me saying " Jamis eh, thats gotta hurt!" Nice. He then tells me to check out Igors shop, even though he has been " better" lately.

I tried many times to see him right after, but he was never open. When I called the number he stood me up twice. I gave up.

Tried again a few weeks ago. he would not show me inside. I told him the bike I was looking for and he kept talking gibberish. Going on about giving my a bike and trying it for a year, Bring it back if I don;t like it etc.

Going on about never settling for one bike. " Guys that only fuck one chick are idiots and losers ,same for bikes" He went on and on about this for a while. A complete and utter wack job.

It is hard to beieve, but my friend and I were talking about him today and how they need to do a very public sting to send a message. and wham here it is.

If this is true and I am sure it is, I hope they nail him hard. And I hope some other nutcase whos bile he stole takes a font fork to his head!!
bikesane / July 17, 2008 at 08:59 pm
I bought a old 54cm Japanese steel road bike frame from Igor about a year ago and while i attempted to chat with him about my needs and wants in a frame, he continued to interupt with questions that would be valid and quite smart like "what qualitry columbus or reynolds, titanuim or do you want a piece of shit?..."what size frame?" he blathered on while swigging lakerport and one of his glassy eyed female assistants knocked over a liqiour store bag full of dope pipes and stuff which igor hastily shoved into his cooler. Well an hour later as her hit on local girls on the sidewalk and stumbled to vans and chatted with other customers and "sellers" he finally produced a few steal frames and i walked away with a $35. steel frame of decent quality.

It took alot of patience to answer his bike questions to his satisfaction and too stomach his sly insults such as
"... you Canadians are so lazy, why do you want to build a frame?.. just buy a full bike $125.00 full refund"

It was clear that this is and was a shady joint but Igor knows his stuff about bikes and unfortunatly it is likely a total alcholic and drug addict and this is what fuels his shop and his "recyclers" need to carry on.

I felt totally dirty supporting this shop as a avid cyclist and home mechanic but like the CN tower in Toronto it was a place i had to check out at least once and judging from the part time mechanics stopping by for frames while i was their it was pretty popular.

Maybe jail will clean up Igor and he can make some dough for his building and better serve toronto by building free communters for all of the 12,000 cyclists who lost their bikes in the past 12 months.

Then again Theft under $5000.00 gets him aslap on the wrist he pays a fine and does 60 days weekends in a minimum security facility with a decent lawyer.

I supose we will have to watch this smart scribe from the sun for further news.
Nick / July 17, 2008 at 09:40 pm
Clarification, by look at I mean the police should sting the bike shop in Kensington. I suspect it is not legit at all.
I'd have a look at the shady bike shop in Kensington. Their bikes are obviously chopped up mishmashes of multiple bikes. Call me crazy but it's certainly worth looking at.
luc robitaille / July 17, 2008 at 09:45 pm
Clearly there is a thriving market for stolen bikes/parts, i'm sure he'll be back in business shortly. If not, someone else will fill the niche.
Jim / July 17, 2008 at 09:57 pm
Here it is...
Dustino / July 17, 2008 at 10:02 pm
3 weeks ago I saw that hella sleeze on the street actually grinding a lock of a bike not 10 stores down from his. The extension cord to the grinder was seriously going into his junk shop. I wanted to go back, ask him to borrow the grinder for a second, then quickly slice off his nuts. Booya!
Chester Pape / July 17, 2008 at 11:48 pm
Why now? because there are more cops, and crime is down but the unwritten arrest/ticket quotas aren't getting any smaller. Cops are suddenly looking at stuff they wouldn't have bothered with a year ago just to keep the numbers up. It's not just bikes all kinds of petty theft they wouldn't have had the time for now gets at least some attention, which is a good thing.
Common Sense / July 18, 2008 at 12:23 am
What a load of BS is being spouted here. Reading this, one would think that Igor is the only game in town for stolen bikes and runs crews 24/7 with the sole goal of grabbing every bike in town.
And one little charge is going to shut the whole operation down. Duh.
Wake up.
Est. 12,000 bikes a year stolen in Toronto - you really think Igors' doing it ALL???
One count of theft under is going to shut down this entire empire??
C'mon. Wake up. He'll likely walk on all counts. He didn't steal the bike, he wasn't even holding the bolt cutters. And the sting bike was untouched. Go talk to a lawyer. How long do you think it will take to get this thrown out?
the other adam / July 18, 2008 at 12:34 am
Igor has always walked before, so he'll walk again. But it's always fun anyway whenw he gets busted.

Only one seat? Lucky. I'm going to try Torx bolts.
Equalizer / July 18, 2008 at 02:06 am
Was approached twice in the same week two weeks ago by guys selling "their" bike really cheap. Once at Yonge/Gerrard and can't remember the other downtown spot.
jamesmallon / July 18, 2008 at 09:29 am
Be careful, without Igor's employ there's going to be a lot of twitchy addicts on Queen West begging harder for change.
zukeeper / July 18, 2008 at 09:48 am
some clarification is needed around who's shady and who's not in Kensington Market, as there are several bike shops in the area. Mike the Bike is legit far as I know. Bikes on Wheels is cool. Then there's George in the alley and Uncle Jacobs on Spadina...
nnhhgg / July 18, 2008 at 10:17 am
Some of the comments here complain about the police response. The cops will blow you off if they get a sense that you aren't going to follow-up or hold them accountable. Ask for their names. If they don't give you respect, ask for their supervisor. Tell them that you are writing a letter to your city councillor, local paper, and to the Police Services Board about their conduct:

Remember that the police department revolves around the mantra of "Cover Your Ass", not "Serve and Protect". If you give them the impression that it will be less work to go out and solve the crime in question than to brush you off, you might get better results.
hungrybum / July 18, 2008 at 10:38 am
There was a mysterious fire at his building last night...
Gloria / July 18, 2008 at 10:53 am
Wow, I'm surprised by how many people (I wasn't expecting any at all) here admit they found Igor shady, rude, or blatantly offensive but gave him business anyway. Maybe that's how he's been surviving all these years.
Laz / July 18, 2008 at 11:12 am
the cops are lazy shady buggers, just like igor. igor has been known and busted for over a decade. look at how many posters here know igor. the cops only made a move cause millar saw an article and demanded action. so he got it. but the cops and igor go on with their pathetic ways, nothing ever changes in TO. It just sucks.
AT / July 18, 2008 at 11:21 am
There's a press conference on right now (CP 24). 3 search warrants, 150 bikes recovered last night along with drugs.

They're inviting members of the public to claim their stolen bikes tomorrow. I didn't catch all of the details but anyone who thinks that their bikes might be one of the recovered bikes should bring ID, registration form, and receipts if you have them to 9 Hanna Ave. Other optional proof of ownership includes photos of you on your bike. They're also inviting all bike owners to register their bikes.

Toronto Fire helped lower bikes from the second floor via removed window and pulley system. I'm sure that City News will have a full report on their website soon.

Press conference media advisory here:
AT / July 18, 2008 at 11:25 am
Update: For more info call 416-808-1500.
KC / July 18, 2008 at 11:26 am
I think he's been in court a bunch of times and it's never made a dent. People need to STOP going there unless it's to try to bargin back for their stolen bike. I'm hoping at the very least, the cops will do an inventory of his store and some folks who registered their bikes will get their bikes back. if not, it'll just be a small bump in the road for him as usual.
Roger / July 18, 2008 at 11:33 am
I was just about to concur with the comments by Laz until I read AT's comments. This looks a little more optimistic now. Thank you AT for the update.

Sounds like Silverman Helps could've helped make this more of a known place ages ago.

Silverman vs. Igor. That would've been something to watch. :)
thedude / July 18, 2008 at 11:46 am
I actually had my bike stolen recently and made a police report on Igor after having a bad incident with him not letting me see any bikes at all (I was checking for my stolen bike). I told the cops on a couple occasions that if they just raided the place they'd uncover at least 80% stolen goods. I wonder if I had anything to do with the raid?!
igorInJail / July 18, 2008 at 11:55 am
-time taken to setup bike sting ... X hrs

-look on igors face when he realizes he was totally f*ct and busted for 3 pounds of pot and some crack as well as all his hot bikes...priceless

-look on toronto bikers faces whom have had oh so many bikes stolen...vindicated
redbedhead / July 18, 2008 at 12:36 pm
I've had two bikes stolen in TO, both in the Kensington area, one in broad daylight.

As for Igor, over ten years ago my roomie had her bike stolen from our yard and it appeared later that day, hanging in the window of his old shop, further west on Queen. When she tried to reclaim her bike he assaulted her and her two friends (Igor's a big dude) and then charged her with assault. When she counter-charged him all charges were dropped and she got her bike back but it took about a year of bullshit. And the cops all knew him.
On another occasion some friends of mine spotted Igor scouting out bikes at UofT, riding slowly through the bike stands like he was shopping for fruit. They started yelling and chased him away. This guy is a serious long-term scumbag and it's disgusting that it's taken the cops this long to actually lift one finger about bike theft and about Igor.
Mike / July 18, 2008 at 01:32 pm
I had a Marin Bobcat MTB stolen in from in front of the Toronto Reference Library in early June. I'm convinced it went straight to Igor's...I went by his shop sniffing around a week or so later, but he saw me coming...wouldn't let me see anything on offer, so I have no idea if my bike was sitting just inside the door, or whether it had already been sold off. If you ended up with it, I'll pay you whatever Igor sold it to you for and forgive your indiscretion. Steel grey, telltale rip on the seat covered w/ duct tape. Post here and I'll check back!!
Ryan / July 18, 2008 at 03:58 pm
I just had my bike stolen on monday! It's about time this shit is stopped!
cris / July 18, 2008 at 03:59 pm
for Igor - good riddance, if we're rid of him for long. the news spread like wildfire today amongst much celebration, best news since one day a few years back i biked by the park to see the shop surrounded by firetrucks.

but George in Parts Unknown in the kensington alley in no way deserves to be lumped in with the likes of Igor.. he has a grungy workshop and practices the art of mix-and-match to be sure, but he's a real stand-up guy and very friendly
1000 Words / July 18, 2008 at 04:12 pm
National Post photos of the "now legendary" raid.
Helen / July 18, 2008 at 05:27 pm
I have to say, I love Igor. Not only did he often repair my bike (bob) for free, I have turned up at his door step on my bike many times with tears in my eyes, and he offered many words of wisdom while working on my bike.

I would sometimes ask him if his bikes were stolen, (never got a no or a yes), but he did say he did not ask those questions. He said if someone was selling him a bike, he would buy it. If he didn't buy it, someone else would. If a bike ever did get stolen, and someone came looking for their bike, and he had it - he would give it back to them.

I made sure he knew me and my bike well as an insurance policy, and made sure to buy my lock from him that he guaranteed would protect my bike or my money back.

I really felt he was an honourable thief. He loves bikes, life and all people. He really has a kind heart and soul. Anyone who has spent time on his sidewalk knows this.

That being said, I don't know what I would ever do if my bike got stolen (it would kill me), so my sympathies for anyone who has - but we all have to admit, Igor did add character & life to that corner!
Helen / July 18, 2008 at 05:37 pm
Oh shit - I am reading all these other comments......I think I was fooled by Igor. I am naive. I still believe he had a kind heart but - reading about all the people who tried to get their bikes back but couldn't makes me realized he lied to me, and I was fooled.

But I still can't regret supporting him - he gave me comfort through words and bike fixing on many difficult days (and some times some of his home brewed alcohol, I'm not going to lie).
bikeman / July 18, 2008 at 05:59 pm

As you can see, most peoples experiences with Igor are the complete opposite that you describe. Which doesn't surprise me as he was clearly not predictable or even discernable in conversation often. On a second note, I don't think the type of character and life Igor's shop added will be missed. I'm no detective, but it's pretty easy to figure out his system (and the police report during his arrest pretty much reinforces this) he gives desperate thieves usually addicted to drugs (I may add they found crack in his premises and a bit of personal pot (only 3 pounds)), 25$ to steal bikes, he even case's them out for them and tells them where they are. I don't care how charming you are 1% of the time, scamming people like that is bs, and being hostile and aggresive is bs too. I'm not the first to say that that sort of place of business (if you can even call it that) though endearing in an anarchistic way, is simply a total waste zone, that breeds not just bike thievery, but crack dealing and god knows what else........ok im done.
walter / July 18, 2008 at 06:17 pm
Good for TO Police to finally do something about this. I hope Uncle Jacob is next. I've met both Igor and Uncle Jacob many times (to try to recover my own stolen rides) and if you if you think Igor is a scumbag (we actually had shop-talk rapport) Uncle Jacob is even worse.
FreeRangeRadio / July 18, 2008 at 07:43 pm
For all you bicyclette romantics... featuring Igor.
a. / July 18, 2008 at 10:50 pm
thankfully we are a city with <a href="";>an excellent community-run bike shop/work space</a>!
leonard / July 18, 2008 at 11:40 pm
Ad I understand it,a vendor buying used goods from the public had to log ID and SERIAL#s and other info in a logbook for the police. They would then come by now and then and cross reference stolen goods against the books.
I believe due to budget constraints, the cops no longer due this.This had not only been a grave disservice for the public ,but also unfair to used vendors trying to run a clean business. A business that keeps these details can hardly be at fault for buying a used bike that may or may not have been stolen (it's not really his concern...that's the cop's job).BTW..Uncle Jacob logged all my info when I sold him my used bike years ago.
I believe the cops are grandstanding and should bring back and enforce the old system.
Another thing too...Yes, Igor's a scumbag (anyone that lives dwtn for years knows this) but he will probably get off the more serious charge due to this system not being used. He COULD have been charged for possession of stolen goods for EVERY hot bike they found NOT logged in the police logbook. As there is no longer any logbook system, it could be argued that 'how was he supposed to know they were stolen' and he couldn't be shown to be 'hiding this information fom the logbook. I think this at least would seriously show intent.
leonard / July 19, 2008 at 12:00 am
Another note...So far he is only in possession of 1 stolen bike, the one he got caught stealing. The police wouldn't be putting any bikes on display if they knew they were stolen. If they knew they were stolen they'd be registered and the owner's would be contacted.Thay way..someone selling a bike to one of these places, "No I.D? No can buy."
Sure there would still be fake I.D. and unreported deals...but this would give some tools to help prosecute and create a hassle for the bike theif hustlers.
Only a person going and 'finding' his bike at the cop depot will show it to be stolen, and even then, as I mentioned in my earlier comment, the charge of possession of all those stolen bikes will be hard to make stick, I think.
Just thought we should all be realistic about the real charges against him and the real penalties so that in a year when he goes to trial, we don't get all huffy that he got a 'slap on the wrist'.
So ya..great big news about Igor , a bit of police grandstanding, and a raised public awareness of the bike theft problem..bravo!
But realistically we should be telling the city to bring back the old system.
Laz / July 19, 2008 at 11:15 am
I agree very much with leonards post. I think it sums it up best; and that the cops are responsible for turning a blind eye to ensuring the paperwork that is their responsibility to look after is being followed through. Because of their failure, Igor was allowed to operate his business without hinderance for years and years- and lets be clear, it was the cops who allowed it
A.B. / July 19, 2008 at 12:36 pm
I've known Igor for years and never had a problem. For years, I've seen the cops come in several times a week to pick up his log books. I never saw Igor buy a bike without recording id. I never saw or even heard of Igor directing anyone to steal a bike. I saw Igor buying bikes at garage sales all the time. I've even seen him buy bikes from other bike shops.

I've seen people come and claim they've lost their lock keys or some such and could he cut off their bike lock - he always refused.

I've also been around several times when someone has tried to sell him a bike where Igor has known who the real owner is and Igor gets the bike back to the real owner. There's an example of this in the Globe and Mail today:

This is grandstanding by the cops for sure. They pulled this once before on Igor about 10 years ago, nothing stuck then either. Igor is not the kingpin of some massive bike theft ring. If any of those bikes down at Hannah get claimed as stolen, blame the cops for not actually checking the log books they were so fond of picking up every few days.
leonard / July 19, 2008 at 01:03 pm
@ A.B.
Am I right that they don't bother with the logbooks any more?
leonard / July 19, 2008 at 01:09 pm
Re: Globe article link.
True enough..he is a real character, I'll give him that. Actually, I regret in my post calling him a scumbag, I was mirroring an earlier post and should have used quotes.
I would say more he's 'dodgy', 'volotile' and an 'asshole' (a lot of interesting people are assholes though).
Let's see how this all plays out.
jamesmallon / July 19, 2008 at 01:43 pm
Get your bike back!
On July 19th, 2008 jamesmallon (not verified) says:
The cops have the bikes at one location for a look-see. Take some kind of proof.

I took photos of mine, and registered them today at:

1/2 price if you use 'MEC' as the promotion code (Mountain Equipment Co-Op).
cea / July 19, 2008 at 02:59 pm
Went to check out the collection today, and there was my stolen bike from 3-4 weeks ago. That's another possession charge against him, and I was one of at least a dozen getting their bikes back. There's rust there that wasn't there before, and a couple of bits are missing, but it's like being reunited with an old friend...
leonard / July 19, 2008 at 05:03 pm
It wont be ANY possession charges for your bike. As I mentioned...if the cops no longer use the logbooks, the onus is not on the buying vendor to ascertain whether or not the bike is stolen. That's why, when mentioned earlier, the cops mentioned to someone who's bike is stolen " Go check with Igor" , all they are saying is that stolen bikes get bought there...not that he knowingly steals bikes, or knowingly buys stolen bikes. How could they do that? Well, for they did...a sting where he is caught actually stealing a bike (or directing someone to, the same thing in law) OR they find a stolen bike in his shop NOT logged (I believe, in the no longer used) logbooks.
Im bit taken aback by the ignorance of the actual legal issues, the grandstanding of the cops, and the mob mentality vs. Igor. Everyone had HEARD stories of much are innuendos vs. actual facts?
I do believe they will really try in the courts to nail Igor. And common sense would tell us that if he buys a $1000 for $75 off a 'questionable looking' person with no I.D...then the bike is most likely stolen and he deserves to get busted.
I do think if he gets a good lawyer, there are going to be a lot of upset people when he gets a slap on the wrist.
The cops are still investigating...maybe we'll see if there is a highly organised criminal racket and that Igor is connected to that. Maybe his busted assistant or some other associate caught up in this will squeel on him.
If a had to bet, if he has no previous convictions, he'll get a very light sentence (either min. jail on weekends or fine and probation).
gorf / July 20, 2008 at 05:54 pm
There was police tape up this morning, and I saw a cops near the door with a dog sniffing around.

There are now around 11 police vehicles parked outside of his shop.

Two of the vehicles there are large vans. They seem to be taking everything out of the store, pieces of bikes and all.
yamuttya / July 21, 2008 at 02:33 am
yamuttya / July 21, 2008 at 02:36 am
I used to live nearby and had this guy work on my bike.He was really unprofessional and always seemed kinda shady.
Great news to have the bum behind bars.
Igor Kenk- Bicycle Thief.....nice.
BikeTheftVictim / July 21, 2008 at 11:25 am
Canadian Tire and similar box stores contribute to these thefts, all the locks sold in their stores are grossly inadequate to secure a bicycle for even 5 seconds, and they know it.

Also why aren't the stores selling bikes make registration part of the bike sale process, then provide the police with the list weekly or monthly.
handfed / July 21, 2008 at 12:59 pm
If you buy a crappy lock from a "big box store", that's your own damn problem. Stop trying to blame everyone but yourself. You want to reduce bike theft? Then start dealing with 1) people who see thefts in progress and do nothing and 2) druggies/homeless who do this for profit. My advice: buy a good lock, go to the gym, carry a blade.
Jason / July 22, 2008 at 09:19 am

I hope someone steals your bike this year - you're a total c*nt.
Roger / July 22, 2008 at 12:06 pm
If you'd like to follow the story here on blogTO, I've posted a follow-up article on the return of the recovered bikes <a href="";>here</a>.
Roger / July 22, 2008 at 12:17 pm
@BikeTheftVictim, who wrote: <i>"Also why aren't the stores selling bikes make registration part of the bike sale process, then provide the police with the list weekly or monthly."</i>

Sounds like a great idea in theory. Implementing it may be a little tricky though. I've heard of shady bike store employees using the address information given at the time of purchase to stake out the homes of the new bike owners and steal their new bikes.

If someone could come up with a better idea that would circumvent this from likely happening, it could work out for the cyclists. Perhaps a flyer given out with every new bike that mentions the bike registry, but can only be accessed online (and for free)?
"wallace" / July 23, 2008 at 10:26 pm
At the risk of being shouted down by the rabble, I respectfully suggest that you can only -- and should only -- trust your own instincts as regards Igor Kenk. One should not be swayed by what one reads. Of the few people who have met the man, fewer still have spent more than a few enraged minutes insulting him for having "stolen" their bike. (Never the best way to get to know someone in my books). You took time, you listened, you probably looked in his eyes, you might have seen through the haze. Trust your head and your gut. Things are rarely as simple as some would make them seem.
psyclebabe / July 25, 2008 at 12:24 am
Igor's wife? What do people think of an educated and talented woman who knew what her husband was doing (or at least should have known) and turned a blind eye? Is she like "Karla" but on a (thank God) much smaller scale? What happens to women to make them behave like that? Should she be made to pay for not reporting her husband's criminal activities? I personally think she should face the full extent of the law and not be given any sympathy. I think what she did (or didn't do) was actually worse that what evil Igor the deranged bicycle thief did. Why? because she should have known better.
MK / July 25, 2008 at 03:29 pm
After checking around the internet I see that everybody knew he was a theif before this bust. WHY did any consumers ever support him? I'm sure there's other players invovled, but still it's pathetic that nothing was done about him earlier.
Roger / July 25, 2008 at 07:33 pm
<b>UPDATE:</b> The Bicycle Recovery Program will start on Friday, July 25, 2008 and end on Thursday, July 31, 2008.

Hours of operation:

&#8722; Friday, July 25, 2008: noon to 8 p.m.
&#8722; Saturday, July 26, 2008 and Sunday, July 27, 2008: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
&#8722; Monday, July 28, 2008 to Thursday, July 31, 2008: noon to 8 p.m.

The bicycles are available for viewing at 35 Strachan Avenue and 30 Ordnance Street. Those who attend to recover their bicycles should be prepared to offer proof of ownership, such as receipts or store registrations. Owner identification will be required. Photo ID is preferred.

Police officers will be present to register bicycles.
Andy / July 29, 2008 at 10:49 pm
Finally Toronto's best known thief is caught in the act. It's about time.

Now I wanna go lock up my bike to his jail bars everyday on my way into work. Ahh, the look on his face.
If he's so good at picking bike locks, why can't he pick his cell lock?

Serves you right, Igor.
Ray / August 1, 2008 at 04:21 pm
Before you guys get all fuzzy with the Toronto police, keep in mind that they have known about Igor's business practices since the early 1990s, when they tried to bust him back then, but failed. Bike theft has been a historic zero priority for the police, the only reason why they charged Kenk now is an embarrassing documentary about city bike theft that is about to be released.

While the press has villanized Kenk, keep in mind that he never stole one bike, he simply bought bikes from people who came to his shop to sell them, and he sold lots of bikes to people who knew damned well they were stolen elsewhere. So they jail Kenk, he's been replaced by Toronto Craigslist anyway.

Want to blame someone? Blame the Queen West community of loser hipsters who will keep bike theft thriving in Toronto.
craig / August 1, 2008 at 07:50 pm
The last time I was there was after my bike had been stolen. Junkies sat waiting across the street in the park to sell him bikes. It was so obvious. So blatant. When I said something to the effect that I'd like to look in his shop for my bike he told me to f*ck off. I hope the punk goes to jail.
aaron / August 26, 2008 at 06:09 pm
I don't know about Canada, but he wouldn't make it long on the street in the US. I'd like to beat the little shit senseless.
Roger / September 26, 2008 at 01:41 pm
Toronto Life just published a story on Igor, which you can find <a href=""; target="_blank">here</a>.
Randy / December 15, 2008 at 05:35 am
Finally, they got this f*cker. I wanted to spit in his face every time I rode by his shop. I hope he loses his freedom for a long long time, like how he stole the mobility of so many.
donkey / February 4, 2009 at 11:52 am
Ray: you miss the point entirely. Of course bike theft will continue after the fall of great igor. But the main thing is that we now have faith that +something+ (anything) has been done about this sad state of affairs. If this means crucifying the big Igor, then so be it.
Canteen Boy / June 28, 2009 at 11:43 am
Does anyone know what ever happened to this guy's court case?
Mountain bikes / July 3, 2009 at 01:24 am
This is a really very nice information, I got lots of knowledge form this article, specially i like this link How to stop bicycle thieves in Toronto?

In my view making use of the increasing number of bike racks is a good way of preventing theft, while parking a bike in a well lit area is also recommended.irst defense against motorcycle theft is your bike's steering lock, And very special think Protecting your motorcycle from theft is more of relying on your common sense rather than depending on alarms and other anti-theft equipments.
mtb / August 25, 2009 at 08:41 pm
Wow that is unbelieveable. A fellow biker ripping people off. Good thing the police finally did something.
Roger / December 15, 2009 at 07:19 pm
<b>UPDATE</b>: <a href="";>Igor Kenk Pleads Guilty in Unprecedented Toronto Bike Theft Case</a>.
SD-B / December 29, 2009 at 02:54 pm
To the person who had his bike stolen from the reference library at yonge and bloor and was convinced it ended up at igors, I wold be more inclined to suggest it ended up at 250 davenport----there is a building at ave and dav that is ontario housing but the building is full of crack addicts-----id suggest that it likely went there, or the thief came from 250, took it back there to see who he could sell it to, one of the dealers in crack.

bike thefts didnt go down after igor was arrested......
John / August 12, 2010 at 05:50 am
Kudos for another entertaining commentary it absolutely was a pleasure to find.

Jake Jameson
<a href="";>honeywell 50250</a>
Sal Gil / August 14, 2011 at 01:02 pm
Sometime around 1997 I lived a couple of buildings east of Igor's shop while helping to run a small bhakti-yoga center at 905 Queen St W. We also had a vegetarian ''supper club'' a few nights a week that offered pretty tasty meals at a very economical price ($5 or $7 a meal). Igor was a regular for a while, so I got to meet him and to know a bit of what he was like outside of his bike scene. I was engaged to a girl from Slovenia at the time also and she had some interesting insight into the character of her fellow countryman.

He was a real character! Definitely a lot of intelligence and street-savvy charisma, he could be super charming and helpful or crude, insulting and base. He had an eye for the ladies and always much commentary on society's ills; loved to debate and had strong opinions which fueled endless rhetoric. He could be very moody also and often exhibited a thick vein of cynicism. There was an edge there that could put you on guard, wondering just what he might be (or not be) capable of. His attitude of total belligerance and contempt for the law was another standard feature, concurrent with a flamboyant flair of self-assured self-entitlement wrapped in an aura of mystery. He might have made a great actor had he gone in that direction.

When the news broke about the bike scene I was both surprised and also not surprised. Drugs and theft ? Sure, it seemed totally possible. Hearing the various comments here, from the disgusted to the charmed, I can say that Igor totally fits the bill of a protagonist who's left a tattoo on the skin of Toronto's social body. If the true story of this guy's life could be researched (a dubious possibility), it could be movie-of-the-week material.

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