The case of the stolen bike at Fresno City Hall

FRESNO, Calif.

If you had to choose one spot in the Fresno City Hall parking lot that would be deemed safest -- it would probably be this one. Just one stall over from the mayor's parking spot, and right underneath this security camera.

That's where city employee Bryan Jones left three bikes in the back of his pickup truck Thursday morning while he ran inside city hall to pick up city council members and staff that were to participate in the city's "mall to mall" bike ride from central Fresno to downtown.

"I just ran inside real quick for about 10 minutes, and I asked security to put the surveillance camera on my truck, to watch the three bikes in the back of my truck."

It took all of five seconds for the young man wearing a backpack in this surveillance video to take one of the bikes off of Jones' truck and ride off.

"I should have had them locked and hindsight is 20-20," said Jones.

The video shows Jones come out of city hall just minutes later -- and realize his $800 Trek road bike had been stolen. The irony, Jones is Fresno's traffic engineer, in charge of, among other things, creating more bike lanes in the city.

"To put so much effort into making Fresno a bicycle friendly community, lead the state of California in number of bike lanes being put in 2010, we've done a lot of advancements for biking, for my bike to be stolen is just kind of ironic."

Jones, who regularly rides his bike to work, wants the thief to return the bike to city hall, no questions asked. He hopes his unfortunate experience doesn't discourage others from riding.

"Do your due diligence. Just like locking up your car and not leaving something visible in there -- don't make it a crime of opportunity. I made it a crime of opportunity yesterday by leaving my bike unlocked, and it stead of walking to school he was biking to school."

If you recognize the suspect in the video, call Fresno Police.

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