A man accused of stealing several bikes last summer is now in the Missoula County jail pending $20,000 bail.
According to the affidavit filed by Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Clark, Justin Lee Morin, 28, used bolt cutters to cut through locks and steal high-end bikes from the Missoula streets.
Morin allegedly collaborated with a man named Bruce Murphy and recruited other people residing at the Poverello Center to assist him in selling the bikes to pawn shops for a nominal fee.
Clark said 42 bikes were reported stolen in August, but Morin couldn’t be linked to all of the cases with the information available. However, Morin bragged that “bike thefts would be down 92 percent after he was caught,” the affidavit stated.
On Dec. 18, a Missoula police detective interviewed Morin, who initially denied stealing bikes. He said other people brought the bikes to him and he would receive a 20 percent fee for repairing them after they were pawned.
“He stated it was basically just a big hustle for him,” the affidavit stated.
But he then admitted his actions were a crime and that he, in fact, stole some of the pawned bikes.
“If he saw a nice bike ... he took it in order to teach (the owner) a lesson,” the affidavit stated.
On Tuesday, Morin appeared before Missoula County Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech, who remanded him to jail.
His preliminary hearing on a felony theft charge is set for March 18 at 4 p.m.