Flea market bike bargain backfires


A South Lake Tahoe man found his bicycle in Sonoma, after it was stolen in San Francisco, by checking Craigslist.

On Oct. 10, the man told Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies, his bike had been stolen while he was in San Francisco on Oct. 5. He had no serial number, but the bike had certain abnormalities that he could describe.

So he started looking on Craigslist and found that a man living in Sonoma was offering what he thought was his bike for sale. Contacted by the victim, deputies met with the seller who told them he bought the bike for $250, along with another bike, at a flea market in American Canyon.

Witnesses backed up the man’s story that he did, indeed, buy the bikes at the flea market.

Deputies returned the stolen bike to the original owner and confiscated the second bike to see if it too had been stolen.

The man who bought the bikes was out of luck.

In other incidents reported recently to Valley law enforcement:

Wednesday, Oct. 9:

6:18 p.m. – Western Union loves ATM card. A resident in the 300 block of Meadowood Lane reported some fraudulent transactions on his ATM card. On Sept. 19, there was an $8 charge; on Oct. 1, there was another $8 charge; and on Oct. 9, there were two charges, one for $1,535 and another for $510, all with Western Union. The cardholder has no idea how his account was compromised.

Friday, Oct. 11:

2:25 p.m. – Was it a gas-powered leafblower? A resident in the 100 block of Adobe Canyon Road reported that sometime between Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, someone cut the lock off a storage container and stole a chain saw, four weed-whackers, a leaf blower and an aluminum pot. The resident estimated the loss at $4,000.

Saturday, Oct. 12:

3 p.m. – Identical keys? You’ve got to be kidding. A John Deere 210LE tractor was reported stolen from the intersection of Bennett Valley Road and Ladera Road. The owner checked with his employees, but none of them had moved the yellow and black tractor.

Compounding the theft is the fact that all John Deere tractor keys are actually identical. The tractor in question, when advertised on used-equipment bulletin boards, starts at about $20,000.

Monday, Oct. 14:

12:16 p.m. – Mother and daughter dis-union. A woman who owns a house in the 18000 block of Park Tree Lane and rented the residence to her daughter, reported that after she ordered her daughter out of the home, she found trash all over the interior and the carpets ruined. After she had the residence cleaned, the owner returned and found that a rear sliding door was broken and there was fire damage to the house trim.

Tuesday, Oct. 16:

9:50 a.m. – But I don’t shop at Walmart. A resident in the 900 block of Liquid Amber Lane reported that she started receiving statements in the mail from businesses she had never sought credit from. There was a $586 charge from Victoria’s Secret, a $239 charge from Walmart and a $950 charge from A Child’s Place. All of the charges were incurred in a three-day span in mid-September. The creditors told her she wasn’t responsible for the charges.

Friday, Oct. 18:

9 a.m. – A hefty theft. The owner of a winery in the 21000 block of Eighth Street East reported that someone had taken five stainless-steel barrels and two stainless-steel racks sometime after Oct. 15. On that date, the barrels and racks were moved to the parking lot and three days later, they were missing. Each barrel weighed 80 pounds and was valued at $1,000, while the racks weighed about 60 pounds each and were valued at $1,000 apiece. There is no suspect information and no video of the premises.

2:35 p.m. – Smash and grab at Regional Park. A visitor to the Sonoma Valley Regional Park left her vehicle on Arnold Drive and when she returned an hour-and-a-half later, a window was smashed and her satchel was missing from the vehicle. The satchel contained her wallet, credit cards, driver’s license and $10 in cash.

6:35 p.m. – Black bed box gone. A resident in the 18000 block of School Road reported that sometime overnight, somebody stole a black, Huskie job box from the bed of his truck. The box contained six or seven Motorola receivers valued at $400 apiece and four or five modems valued at $200 each.

Tuesday, Oct. 22:

5:49 p.m. – Carport tools go missing. A resident in the 19000 block of Riverside Drive reported that he keeps his tools in the carport, but a number of them vanished after he had been gone for about four-plus hours. Among the missing tools was a tile saw ($900), a second tile saw ($250), a hand tile cutter ($200), cutting scissors ($150), a bag of tools ($250) and a box of miscellaneous tools ($150).

Wednesday, Oct. 23:

6:30 p.m. – Someone got into her trunk. A resident in the 100 block of Vallejo Avenue reported that sometime between Oct. 15 and Oct. 23, someone got into the trunk of her vehicle and stole personal documents including rental agreements, workers comp papers and checks from a closed account.