TRUCKEE, Calif. August 22, 2017 – In June of 2017, the Truckee Police Department began receiving theft reports of high-end mountain bikes from various locations in Truckee. The most common scenario were bikes which were on vehicle racks, and secured with the locking mechanism of the rack or a cable style lock. Investigators quickly determined that these thefts were not only occurring in the Truckee area, but also in Tahoe City, Squaw Valley, and Carson City, Nevada. In conjunction with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, Truckee police detectives began a joint investigation into the thefts.
During the course of the investigation, some surveillance images caught the suspects committing the thefts, but no specific identifiable information could be established. Investigators were able to determine the make and model of an associated vehicle; however, no license plate could be identified.
Numerous hours of surveillance, bait bike operations, and crime analysis briefings were accomplished from the time the thefts began. “It was very frustrating to see on social media that our community had the impression that we were not conducting any type of special investigations or bait bike operations. In reality, we were doing all that and more. We, obviously, could not release that information because it possibly could have jeopardized the integrity of the investigation,” said Truckee Detective Sergeant Danny Renfrow. “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. Renfrow went on to say.
On Saturday, August 19, 2017, at approximately 10:00 p.m., an observant Truckee police officer was patrolling a location that had previous thefts, when he located the possible suspect vehicle. The officer made an enforcement stop on the vehicle and with the assistance of other Truckee police units, detained four adult males: Jesus Gallardo (25), Sergio Gallardo (23), Martin Gallardo (27), and Juan Carlos Gallardo (29), all brothers out of San Francisco. The officers were able to establish enough information to arrest the suspects for the bicycle thefts.
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Detectives with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office and Truckee Police Department immediately responded and continued the investigation. Ultimately, all four suspects were charged with multiple counts of grand theft, criminal conspiracy, and possession of stolen property. The suspects were booked in the Truckee Jail each with a $750,000 bond.
Truckee police detectives served search warrants for the suspects’ vehicles and a residence in San Francisco. Along with Placer County Sheriff’s detectives and support from the San Francisco Police Department, investigators recovered approximately $70,000 worth of mountain bikes, road bikes, and related components. The dollar value of all the items taken from Truckee/Tahoe region is estimated to be in excess of $125,000.
The Truckee Police Department is currently inventorying each of these items in an attempt to locate the lawful owners. Truckee police ask that victims of the bike thefts delay in calling to retrieve their property, as they are still processing the evidence and determining which bikes have been recovered.
Rob Leftwich, Truckee Chief of Police stated, “I am exceptionally proud of our officers for their diligence and continued efforts in this investigation. I am very appreciative of the support and collaboration that the Placer County Sheriff’s Office provided. We have an excellent working relationship with the Sheriff’s Office and this is a great example of that. I also think this serves as a great reminder that even with no information being released to the public, our community can rest assured that the Truckee Police Department and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office have their absolute best interest at heart and we don’t let important crimes in our communities go uninvestigated.”
If you have any questions or additional information, please contact Det. Sgt. Danny Renfrow at 530-550-2339, or Det. Chase Covington at 530-550-2333.