A Husker linebacker and runner wanted to sell the bikes they’re accused of stealing, according to court documents released Wednesday.
The pair took the bikes Monday before University of Nebraska-Lincoln police swept the campus for abandoned bicycles, the court documents say.
Josh Banderas and Lucas Keifer, both 19, were charged Tuesday with felony theft for allegedly stealing seven bikes from a rack near The Village and Harper, Schramm and Smith residence halls about 5 p.m. Monday.
Police pulled them over near Antelope Valley Parkway and M Street a short time later and a UNL officer seized a bolt cutter and the bikes, valued at about $1,700, said Assistant UNL Police Chief Charlotte Evans.
Police believe Banderas and Keifer took the bikes because they saw signs posted on the racks that said officers would remove them after a certain date as abandoned property, Officer Aaron Pembleton said in an affidavit.
The blue signs widely displayed near the Harper-Schramm-Smith complex said the bike racks would be cleaned out May 21 and "any bike not removed will have its lock cut and the bike will be impounded as university property. The impounded bike will be held for 30 days and then sold at a university auction."
Banderas and Keifer bonded out of jail Tuesday on $3,500 bond apiece and have June court dates.
Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly said they may be eligible for pre-trial diversion should they choose to pursue it.
Based on criminal history, people charged with nonviolent offenses including theft and burglary may qualify for diversion. Kelly said he hasn't reviewed the cases to determine whether Banderas or Keifer would qualify.
In most cases, defendants apply for diversion within the first month of a case, he said.
Lincoln lawyers Brad Roth and Terry Dougherty are representing Keifer and Banderas, respectively. Neither responded to requests for comment Wednesday.
Banderas and Keifer both attended Lincoln Southwest High School, where Banderas was a standout football player. As a college freshman, he started four games for the Huskers last fall.
Keifer runs for the cross country and track teams.