Cyclist robbed at gunpoint in Oakland

July 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Robbers have crossed into new territory and shaken up the East Bay cycling community. A gunman confronted a bicyclist and robbed him. It happened along Pinehurst Road in the Oakland hills.

The Pinehurst Loop is a popular cycling route that weaves through the Redwood Regional Park in the hills just east of Oakland.

"You ride a bike to get away from the city and get away from sort of the cares of everyday life so you don't want that following you out there," said Marcos Moulitisas, a Berkeley cyclist.

But East Bay Regional Park police say the tranquility was shattered after a 44-year-old cyclist was robbed at gunpoint while riding on Redwood Road.

"He noticed a van pulled in front of him, about 30 yards in front of him and come to a stop, he thought that was kind of odd," said East Bay Regional Park Police Sgt. Tyrone Davis.

Police say the cyclist rode in to the McDonald staging area and called for help. No one was here, the van followed him in and that's when the suspect confronted him with a gun.

The UC Berkeley sociology professor told police the suspect took his gold necklace and his expensive Ibis road bike. The suspect threw it in the back of a gray Ford or Dodge 1980s family van, and took off with another man driving.

"In that park it's very uncommon. I can't think of the last time we had an armed robbery in Anthony Chabot Park," said Davis.

But stealing these expensive bikes elsewhere is quite common and Sgt. Davis says they often times end up in flea markets or on Craigslist. Ernesto Montenero, an Oakland cyclist, says he learned a lot while tracking his stolen bike to Modesto.

"When my bike got stolen, I believe that it got sold somewhere in some clearing house in Modesto. And there's a whole organized group that steal here and take them down to LA, they do the same in LA and bring them up here," said Montenero.

Word of this strong-arm robbery has spread throughout the cycling community and now many cyclists are spreading the word to ride in groups and stay vigilant.


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