Downtown bike store owner freed on $275K bail
Published Friday, August 1, 2008 6:17PM EDT
A Queen Street West storeowner facing dozens of charges in Toronto's largest bicycle theft ring investigation has been granted bail.
The judge set bail at $275,000 on Friday. Conditions of Igor Kenk's release order him to remain under house arrest. He is only allowed to leave his home unless accompanied by one of his three sureties.
Kenk is not allowed to possess any bicycles, and he has been ordered to surrender his Slovenian passport.
A publication ban prevents the media from reporting details of evidence presented during the hearing.
The 49-year-old was charged with drug trafficking before his bail hearing began on Wednesday, after police recovered 17 pounds of marijuana in two locations on Monday night.
Kenk faces 21 drug charges and more than 30 theft and property offences in the bicycle theft ring.
Police have recovered more than 3,200 bicycles since their investigation began on July 16. The two-wheelers have come from 16 different locations, mostly garages in the downtown west end near Kenk's store, The Bicycle Clinic.
After the bail hearing on Friday, Kenk's lawyer said his client has been unfairly vilified.
"It seems that in the media, to some extent, he's being blamed for every bicycle that's disappeared in the last many, many years in Toronto," Lon Rose told reporters outside the Old City Hall courts.
"It would appear (the response is) a bit overblown by the public."
Kenk's next court appearance is set for Wednesday.
Jean Laveau, 47, is charged with theft, attempted theft, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools in the probe. Jeanie Chung, 37, who is romantically involved with Kenk, is charged with possession of stolen property and possession of cocaine and marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.
Police say more than 330 people have been reunited with their bikes since they were recovered. However, many of the two-wheelers have been stripped of their parts and dozens of residents have decided not to fix their old bikes.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Chris Eby