PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office has described as a “serial bike thief” is now facing two felonies after a Feb. 11 arrest. Portland resident James Lee Adkins has since been released from jail pending an upcoming court date, but the sheriff’s office listed at least three cases they have connected Adkins to and are asking for any victims to come forward.
The first case the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office cites dates back to September of 2019.
Authorities allege that Adkins stole a mountain bike from someone who was attempting to sell it through Facebook Marketplace. Adkins responded to the online ad and agreed to meet the seller at Clackamas Town Center. At first, Adkins showed the victim an envelope with the “agreed-upon $900,” but the sheriff’s office said that when the victim turned his back to unload the bike, Adkins swapped the envelopes.
After the exchange was made, the victim was left with an envelope full of napkins.
In October 2019, the sheriff’s office received another report that Adkins had stolen a bike—this time from a 12-year-old boy.
The boy’s mother told police that her son had listed a mountain bike for sale—again on Facebook Marketplace— for $1,395. Adkins met Jennifer Ferguson and her son at the Clackamas Fred Meyer for the sale.
“We talked for like 15 or 20 minutes in the parking lot and he was telling us that he was from Estacada and his grandpa was a teacher,” said Ferguson. “He just seemed normal, he seemed fine.”
Adkins asked to take the bike for a test ride in the parking lot, said the sheriff’s office, when he rode off with it instead.
“I think he definitely had a plan in place,” said Ferguson. “It’s crazy to think, here I am, a female with children, and we got taken advantage of, and a grown man can get taken advantage of too.”
The next month, on November 11, 2019, Adkins was arrested for shoplifting at the Clackamas Town Center’s Macy’s, said the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. He was also found to be in possession of meth. Adkins was taken into custody by a sheriff’s deputy and lodged in the Clackamas County Jail on felony charges.
After a Grand Jury reviewed the case in January of this year, a judge issued warrants for Adkins’ arrest.
Adkins was stopped by Portland police on February 11 for a traffic violation, and was subsequently arrested for the felony warrants out against him in Clackamas County, along with a misdemeanor warrant from Multnomah County. He was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and released the following day with his next court appearance scheduled for March 11, said the sheriff’s office.
Deputies believe that given Adkins’ criminal pattern, there might be more victims of similar crimes in the metro area. They ask that anyone with information on Adkins or “possible additional crimes involving [him]” contact the sheriff’s office tip line at 503.723.4949.