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'Dumbfounded' Shawn Bradley wonders why anyone would steal custom-made bike

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 9 2011 10:00 p.m. MST

MURRAY — Missing: a one-of-a-kind custom made bicycle with an 80-centimeter frame.

If found, contact police so it can be returned to retired NBA and BYU basketball player Shawn Bradley.

Last Friday, someone burglarized the barn on Bradley's property. The only item that was taken was a bicycle made specially for him in 2006.

"Whether you're 7 feet 6 inches or normal height, stealing someone's bike is low," an upset Bradley said Wednesday.

Bradley said he left his house about 9 a.m. Friday. About two hours later, a person who was hired to do work on Bradley's pool called him to say the side door to his barn in his backyard was open. Although there were other bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs and tools in the garage, Bradley said the only thing that was missing was his custom-made bike.

"It just made me really upset," he said. "I'm still dumbfounded. It's so frustrating people just do that. That's ridiculous."

After Bradley retired from the NBA in 2006, the 7-foot-6 center said he needed to find a way to keep the weight off. Trek made a bicycle just for him.

"My brother is 6 feet 10 inches and he can't ride it," Bradley said.

Bradley has used his bicycle extensively since 2006. The bike is black and has "7-6" on the frame. When Bradley contacted Trek after the bike was stolen to try and get the serial number, the company told him they didn't put one on the bicycle because it was the only one of its kind.

"They said, 'We didn't think of putting a serial number on it,'" he said. "It's got its own identity."

Trek told Bradley they didn't even have a chance to test drive it before shipping it to him because there was no one in the company who could ride it. They sent it to Bradley hoping it had been put together correctly.

"They said, 'You're the test pilot.'"

Despite his dismay, Bradley was still able to joke Wednesday about who the possible suspects might be. He said the only other person in Utah who could have rode off on his bike was former Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton, whom he called to tell about the burglary.

Bradley also joked that maybe another former Jazzman, Greg Ostertag, might have stolen the bike as a prank. But he said even Ostertag wouldn't have been able to reach the pedals.

On a more serious note, Bradley said the bike would not have been able to fit inside a regular vehicle or on a bike rack and the suspect would not have been able to ride off on it. He believes someone would have had to have a pickup truck or trailer to carry it away.

Bradley believes the person responsible was likely looking for items to pawn off, possibly for drugs, and wasn't targeting Bradley specifically because of his notoriety.

Anyone with information about the bike can call police at 801-840-4000.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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