Boulder police arrested a 38-year-old man Monday who they believe is responsible for the theft of 43 high-end bicycles between May and September — including the five bikes stolen from the Boulder High School mountain bike team during last September's flood.

The bikes are worth a total of $147,000, according to Boulder police, and range in price from $700 to $9,000.

Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel said detectives set up a bait operation in which they locked up an expensive bike downtown last year, and the suspect — John William Samson III — appeared "very interested" in acquiring it. She said Samson also was wearing a backpack at the time that contained burglary tools.

Samson was on parole at the time and dealing with parole violations, Kobel said. After police apprehended him, Kobel said, they connected him to other bicycle thefts around the city.

"He knew what he was looking for as far as brands, and he was also very prepared with his tools," she said.

None of the bicycles have been recovered. Kobel said there are no leads regarding the bikes' whereabouts, but police are still investigating.

Samson was arrested and booked into the Boulder County Jail, where he is being held $100,000 bond.

He faces 34 counts of theft, one count of third-degree burglary, one count of criminal trespass and one count of criminal mischief.

Most of the thefts took place in the downtown business area during daylight hours, with the majority of the bikes being locked to bike or vehicle racks.

The Boulder High bikes were stolen from a locked trailer during September's flood. Along with helmets and other items that were taken, the school estimated the loss at $9,000.

Following the theft, the team's coach, Ben Boyer, and Principal Kevin Braney dipped into their own pockets to replace two of the bikes.

The team's riders returned the favor in October, collecting nearly $2,000 in donations to buy their coach a new bike as well.

As far as keeping bikes out of the hands of criminals in general Kobel said the best piece of advice is to continue locking them up and making sure you're not an easy target.

"People should continue to lock their bikes up," she said. "Unfortunately, in this case, locking them up was not enough, but that's the best thing you can do."