High-tech thief steals $15,000 bike from athlete's car in Sausalito

ByTiffany Wilson via KGO logo
Friday, February 27, 2015
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A thief used some type of electronic device to open a Sausalito woman's car and steal her bike expensive, custom-made bike.

SAUSALITO, Calif. (KGO) -- A car burglary goes high-tech in Sausalito with devastating consequences for a professional athlete.

Police say a man used some sort of electronic device to unlock a vehicle last Thursday and it was all captured on camera.

Surveillance footage shows the suspect casing a black Audi parked on Central Avenue. He approaches the car and taps the passenger's door handle. Like magic, the doors unlock and the man is able to walk away with a suitcase and a $15,000 Cervelo custom bike.

The owner Sarah Piampiano was home the entire time.

"The way he got into the car and got the bike out, he just knew exactly what he was doing," Piampiano said.

That bike wasn't an expensive hobby. Piampiano is a professional triathlete.

"It's a violation of my lifestyle and of my livelihood," she said. "It's what I do for my job."

A neighbor told Piampiano he saw the thief, but just assumed it was his car because the doors unlocked.

"It is believed he used an unknown type of electronic device or remote to open the car doors electronically," Sausalito police Sgt. Bill Frass said.

Although this is the first high-tech car theft in Sausalito, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney has reported on keyless-entry hackers since 2013. In the past two years, advice from police hasn't changed.

"If there's value, do not leave it in your car, take it with you," Frass said.

Piampiano is grateful her sponsor can provide a new bike, but she knows not everyone is as lucky.

"I want to get my bike back, that's a really important thing for me, but more than anything, I want to be able to catch this guy," she said.

If you recognize this high tech thief, call police.