Four brothers from San Francisco have been arrested in connection with the theft of more than $125,000 worth of high-end mountain bikes from the Truckee and Lake Tahoe areas.
The Truckee Police Department on Tuesday announced the arrests following an investigation that began in June, when police started receiving reports of bikes stolen from various locations in Truckee. The bikes typically had been parked in bicycle racks and secured with a locking mechanism on the rack or a cable-style lock, according to a Police Department news release.
Investigators learned that similar thefts were occurring in Tahoe City, Squaw Valley and in Carson City, Nev., leading Truckee detectives to begin a joint investigation with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
During the investigation, some of the thefts were caught by surveillance cameras, but no specific information identifying the thieves could be established, the news release said. Investigators were able to determine the make and model of a vehicle associated with the thefts, although the license plate could not be read.
Investigators used various methods, including bait bike operations, in an effort to identify the thieves.
“Although we did establish a possible vehicle description later on in the investigation, we were hesitant to release that information because it was our only link to identifying the suspects and we didn’t want the suspects switching vehicles,” Sgt. Danny Renfrow said in a written statement.
About 10 p.m. Saturday, a Truckee officer was patrolling an area where previous thefts had occurred, when he located the possible suspect vehicle. The officer made and enforcement stop, and he and other officers detained the occupants. They were identified as brothers Juan Carlos Gallardo, 29, Jesus Gallardo, 25, Sergio Gallardo, 23, and Martin Gallardo, 27, all of San Francisco.
The four men were arrested on suspicion of multiple counts of grand theft, criminal conspiracy and possession of stolen property. They were booked into the Truckee Jail with bail for each set at $750,000.
Truckee detectives served search warrants for the suspects’ vehicle and a San Francisco residence. Truckee investigators and Placer County sheriff’s detectives, assisted by the San Francisco Police Department, recovered approximately $70,000 worth of mountain bikes, road bikes and related components, the news release said.
The dollar value of all the items taken from the Truckee/Tahoe region is estimated to be more than $125,000, police said.
The Truckee Police Department is inventorying the items in an attempt to locate the owners. They ask victims of the bike thefts to delay in calling about their property until the evidence can be processed and police can determine which bikes have been recovered.