|IRVINE, CA (BRAIN) Tuesday August 14 2012 6:12 AM PST—A couple of thefts of Colnago models at two shops in Southern California during the same week, and a theft of a Colnago at the recent Gran Fondo Giro D'Italia in Pasadena, have retailers and the Italian bike supplier on alert.
Irvine Bicycles owner Frank Chang said the alleged thief came into the shop last Wednesday asking to test-ride a Colnago C59 with a sloping toptube. He provided a credit card, cell phone and car keys as collateral. But he never returned the bike. When Chang tried to swipe the credit card, he found out it was stolen. The cell phone didn’t work and the car keys didn’t match with any of the vehicles in the parking lot.
“We were really busy that day, selling four bikes at the time,” Chang said, adding that he usually requires a state-issued ID for test rides, but that occasionally he will take car keys and cell phone and hasn’t had anyone walk off with a bike before.
The bike was estimated to cost $12,000 retail. It was a size 48 Colnago C59 sloping, black on black, equipped with Campagnolo Super Record, Zipp 303 carbon clinchers, Zipp bar and stem. “It was the most expensive one in the shop,” Chang said.
Chang, who has filed a report with the Irvine Police Department, said the rider came in wearing a baseball cap so the surveillance camera couldn’t get a clear shot of his face, but that a day later he found out from his Colnago sales rep that someone had walked off with a Colnago C59 at the recent Gran Fondo Giro D’Italia in Pasadena. After taking a look at event photos of the rider who took off with the bike at the Fondo, he confirmed that it was the same person who stole the bike from his shop.
“We’re 100 percent sure it’s the same person,” Chang said, adding that he’s working with both Irvine and Pasadena police. “Plus, we have video that we can hopefully provide.”
Billy Kanzler, national sales manager for Colnago USA, said he reported the theft of a C59 at the Gran Fondo event to Pasadena police. In similar fashion, the rider took the bike for a test ride, indicating that he had left his bike and pedals as collateral to the person checking out bikes at the Colnago booth when he hadn’t, Kanzler said. The rider never returned the bike.
Earlier last week, on Monday night, Marcel Calborn said his Laguna Hills shop, Celo Europa, was broken into and two Colnago frames, an EPS and C59, were taken as well as a C59 bike, some clothing and a couple of helmets. The theft happened after Calborn had left the shop for the day.
Calborn, who filed a report with the Laguna Hills police, heard of the other thefts at Irvine Bicycles and the Gran Fondo but didn’t know if the three were related or if the theft at his shop involved the same individual.
Calls to the Irvine Police Department were not returned.