FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Cycling Club faces an uphill climb to put on a weekend event after thieves targeted their equipment outside a Tower District home.
"Last night I went to bed, trailer was there," said club president Dennis Ball. "Wake up this morning, go outside to hook up the trailer and it's gone."
The club is ready to roll in Raymond this weekend.
"So we ride around on Madera's dirt roads and it was very successful last year," Ball said.
150 bicyclists hit the dirt in 2018, and they're looking at a similar crowd this year, which means the club needs to haul a bunch of equipment and food and drinks.
That's what their trailer was for, but thieves took it from a Tower District street Tuesday morning, leaving behind just the block on which the hitch rested.
"So now we're stuck," Ball said. "We don't have bikes to ride for the event."
Ball had a cross bike, a mountain bike, a hand truck, and an air compressor in the trailer.
He locked the trailer itself, but after a long day Monday he left the hitch unprotected.
"I didn't put the (hitch on), I had it too," he said. "I had it in my truck and I was going to put it on there, but I thought 'I'm going to hook it up in the morning.'"
Ball moved into a relative's home in the Tower District near Fresno High School a few weeks ago after fire damaged his house.
Neighbors say the area is great, but also a frequent target for thieves.
Ball reported the stolen trailer to Fresno police and some familiar faces could help him solve the crime.
He worked as a Fresno police officer for four decades and as sergeant of the bike patrol.
One of the bikes was his retirement gift. He says they both have unique markings, and so does the trailer itself.
"But I'm hoping that you know it says Family Worship Center on the side, in faded lettering, but that is a distinctive thing about the trailer," he said.
Ball's police experience tells him the thieves will take the trailer to a hiding place where they can cut the lock, empty it, then peddle what they can.
He's not counting on getting anything back, so he's trying to find a new way to haul equipment to Madera County, and a new ride to hit the dirt.
Thieves steal cycling club trailer from former Fresno police sergeant
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