A bicycle thief, called ‘California Bike Bandit’ by the police in San Francisco, was arrested in Fairfax after a cycle shop owner recognized his face from a criminal notification flier.
According to Chris Morin, Chief of Police, Jason Kurt Fashimpaur, a resident of Sausalito, has allegedly stolen bicycles from several shops using aliases such as Cerri Kurtis in other state areas such as Marin and San Rafael. Fashimpaur has been detained with a bail of $15,000 at a jail in Marin.
Shop Owner Calls Fairfax Police after Confirming Identity
According to Tony Merz, owner of Sunshine Bicycle, a man visited the shop in the afternoon on Tuesday and requested to take a bicycle worth almost $3000 for a test drive. The shop requires customers to show valid photo ID before any sale or trial is permitted. The suspect showed a driving license with the name Cerri Kurtis.
Merz allowed Kurtis to test drive the bike under the supervision of an employee. Kurtis returned the bike complaining of a strange sound. He later visited the shop to test drive it again. At this point, he was recognized by one of Merz’s employees as the man in a flier distributed by the San Francisco police.
While Kurtis was distracted by the manager, Merz confirmed that Cerri Kurtis was the alias used in another bicycle theft case from Missing Link, a cycle outlet in Berkley. Merz immediately called the local police who detained the suspect while a staff member from a bike shop in Corte Madera, City Cycle, identified him from yet another theft case.
Bicycle Theft Rampant in San Francisco Bay Area
Cycles have been stolen from a number of shops in areas such as Marin, Novato and San Rafael. According to Merz, cycle thefts are rampant as they can be easily stolen and sold. The theft is not restricted to shops as numerous cases of residential crime have also been reported.