San Francisco bicycle shop burglary suspects caught on camera

ByNick Smith KGO logo
Monday, September 29, 2014
Bike thieves caught on camera
A couple of brazen thieves stole electric bicycles from a shop in San Francisco early Monday morning.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The search is on for the thieves who smashed their way into a unique bike shop in San Francisco and rode off with thousands of dollars in merchandise. Police hope surveillance video will lead to their capture.

The Electrical Bicycle Super Store was recognized as a best small business in the city by Mayor Ed Lee. Now for the owner, his decision to move into a transitioning neighborhood is causing him to rethink everything.

In less than four minutes thieves were able to smash a plate-glass window, enter the shop and make off with thousands of dollars-worth of high-end electric bikes. All of it was caught on tape. One suspect is so nonchalant he's seen smoking a cigarette during the burglary.

Len Rogers is the owner of the store. He heard the alarm and went to the store immediately.

"I came down to find the front window had been smashed and that bikes were obviously missing," said Rogers.

In surveillance video, a man is scene casing the scene, testing the strength of the window and then smashes the glass with two strikes. He and an accomplice, make their move. They're in and out in no-time. And then, from out of nowhere, comes someone else.

"A third opportunistic thief grabbed another bicycle that was a customer's bike that was here to be worked on," said Rogers.

The store sits at Fillmore and Ellis Streets in the heart of San Francisco's Western Addition. The community has struggled to reshape its image after years of being synonymous with project housing, crime, prostitution and drugs. He says his store is one of many, caught up in a recent uptick in crime.

"I have been hearing from other business owners there are some problems with smash and grabs and things of this nature," said Rogers.

The theft will cost him roughly $10,000. Len says the two electric bikes have an estimated value of $8,000. The third belonged to a customer and is valued around $1,500 and then there's the cost to replace the glass.

"We don't want to give the impression this community is challenged any more than it has the perception of being challenged," said Rogers.

Police have collected the video and are continuing their investigation. Rogers says the bikes are unusual in their shape and size and will stand out - making it difficult for the thieves to hide and hopefully, sell.