Residents of one quiet street called police after they noticed a 53-year-old man driving through the area several times on his scooter with a pile of cardboard boxes in a trailer, the Hamburger Abendblatt reported.
After the police checked the boxes and found that they contained the top-of-the-range carbon-fibre bikes – worth around €4,000 each – the man claimed that he had “found” them in a skip with construction waste.
In fact, the bikes had been stolen from a container the man broke into with two accomplices at a rail yard three kilometres away.
When the police arrived, they found 49 more boxes had been removed from the container ready to be hauled away.
And eight more of the bikes were in a car belonging to one of the other thieves, a 24-year-old man.
The 53-year-old man is now accused of having broken into four more containers at the rail yard, as well as defrauding the social benefits system.
He may also be charged with handling dangerous materials after police found that his home contained 34 propane gas canisters, some of which were amateurishly connected to his oven and heating systems, and 160 litres of fuel.