ConstruBikes - the 10,000 ft view

In 2020, Bike Index was tipped off to a prolific seller of stolen bikes operating on Facebook and Instagram.

Located in Jalisco, Mexico, this seller - operating as 'ConstruBikes' - fenced bikes sourced almost exclusively from the San Francisco Bay area. Our first initial investigation matched several stolen bikes right from the first glance, and the more we looked, the more we found.



Later, we would see this seller source bikes from elsewhere - San Diego, Oregon, and Colorado. His size and scope was formidable - and his efforts to keep his sales hidden from US viewers was also noted - by region locking his Facebook page to only Mexican viewers, the seller insulated himself against discovery from less technical viewers. His Instagram is also private, but poorly screened.


Over the next four years, we surveilled, analyzed, and tracked the ConstruBikes sales and activities while working with victims to reach out to law enforcement. We discovered the seller's methodologies and links to other actors in the grey- and black-market space. We eventually ID'd one of this seller's US-side conspirators. That individual is now the subject of a federal indictment in the northern district of California. Because of this, we haven't said much about this matter until now.

Yes, we've done this kind of thing before but this Jalisco-based seller was vastly larger than anybody we've seen until now. His reach, longevity, marketing abilities, and overall operations were truly unique. The fact that he is an avid cyclist was especially grating. The fact he has branded merchandise is oddly hilarious or extremely ballsy, depending on your opinion.


During the course of our monitoring, we saw this seller list 2802 ads, representing 654 unique bike sales for a rough combined total of $2,102,688.72 USD in sales.

There were so many bizarre twists and turns to this story we knew we could not possibly do it justice. Fortunately, we didn't have to. Writer Christopher Solomon could, and did, please see his excellent WIRED article here.

Solomon's reporting did an excellent job of covering this entire matter far better than we could. We send him our thanks.

Bike Index notes that WIRED did its own reporting, acting on a tip from our group and then using Bike Index as a source. These blog posts are solely Bike Index's additions to WIRED's reporting, as we believe the data we captured is of value to our constituents, law enforcement, and others. There are many more twists and turns to this story that might not ever see the light of day, but we'll do our best to share.

There are four publications we will highlight here:

Article 1: How to Navigate the ConstruBikes Archives

Bike Index captured and archived this seller's sales since 2020. We did so in order to build a searchable archive of bikes in order to allow theft victims to search for theirs within his sales. While we have screencaps of his sales back to 2015, only 2020-current is captured in a searchable Google doc.


We also wanted to quantify the seller's sales, profits, etc. and have reference materials available for various law enforcement agencies and victims.

You can read "How to Navigate the ConstruBikes Archives" here

Article 2: ConstruBikes - San Diego focus

Once the ConstruBike's San Jose contact was no longer operating (and providing a stream of stolen bikes) the bikes this seller was sourcing came out of San Diego for a time. Bike Index spent time trying to alert various SD area police departments and cycling organizations. but this effort did not bear any fruit.


We still don't know the source of these bikes, but we published this article specifically to alert the San Diego cyclists that their stolen bikes may be in this archive.

You can read "ConstruBikes - San Diego focus" here

Article 3: ConstruBikes - Colorado focus

Bike Index also watched this seller source bikes from Colorado thefts for a significant amount of time. As of today, 06/10/2024, the seller is still posting what we believe are bikes stolen from Colorado.

More interestingly, we watched this seller collaborate/front sales bikes stolen from Colorado from other bad actors in Juarez who we had already identified from our previous works on Alexander's Bikes.

That a black-market operator in La Barca, Jalisco was collaborating with other black market guys in Juarez was of particular interest. There's probably a whole other article here about how Colorado bikes wind up in Juarez, then with the grey and black-market sellers we've been surveilling, and then into the hands of people like the ConstruBikes seller - but we have yet to write that article.


Long story short though: Colorado folks will want to look closer at Juarez and El Paso. We published this article specifically to alert Colorado cyclists that their stolen bikes may be in this archive, and to focus their attention on the operators in Juarez that are prolific resellers of Colorado stolen bikes.

You can read "ConstruBikes - Colorado focus" here

Article 4: ConstruBikes - Oregon focus

There was also a brief time where this seller sourced stolen bikes from Oregon - first from southern Oregon, and then later the Portland and Hood River areas.

Seeing bikes in the ConstruBike sales with stickers from shops that I've personally used and enjoy to was alarming. At one point this seller sold a bike stolen from someone I have several mutual friends with. To say this was a weird experience - seeing bikes from Portland wind up sold by this fence in La Barca, Jalisco Mexico - would be an understatement.


Bike Index tried to engage Portland Police on this issue, but we were unsuccessful.

We published this article specifically to alert Oregon cyclists that their stolen bikes may be in this archive.

You can read "ConstruBikes - Oregon focus" here

More archives may be forthcoming:

As previously stated we have a mountain of data, so future archives may come later. The seller's instagram, for example, was completely captured and just not yet assembled for viewing. Stay tuned.

Media/Press inquiries:

Media inquiries can be sent to:

Thanks to those who assisted:

Many, many other people helped out on this, including victims of thefts and others in the anti-theft space - most of whom prefer to remain nameless. Bike Index sends our thanks to them. Bike Index also thanks the SFPD, FBI, and other various law enforcement entities that were involved with this issue.

A reminder to reader:

Bike Index would like to remind readers that we are the only ones doing this kind of work. We are the only ones who seek out and expose these kinds of black-market super-operators. It is thankless work. We are not paid, we are nonprofit. The only person making any money in this whole equation is this prolific seller of stolen bikes in Jalisco.

Local police don't/can't really focus on crimes outside their jurisdictions, and 'cross border bike crime' doesn't exactly rate super high on their list. Understandably.

Facebook does not give a single fuck about all the stolen bikes being sold on their platform, and never will. They are malicious actors at this point. Their platform is garbage, their support is nonexistent, and their employees are willfully blind to the harm they cause. The sooner the world is rid of Facebook, the better.

Please Donate & Help Support Our Work:

This investigation took a large amount of time and resources. This was a 4 year effort involving countless unpaid hours of work, collaboration, and analysis. You can support Bike Index investigator Bryan Hance directly, via Venmo, at @bhance - and/or you can support Bike Index by clicking here and donating.

-Bike Index