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Authorities seek suspect in bike shop thefts throughout California

Published February 5, 2019

FRESNO, Calif. (BRAIN) — Authorities are seeking a suspect alleged to have stolen high-end bikes, or attempted to do so, from at least eight stores up and down California — from Mill Valley in the Bay Area to Huntington Beach in Southern California.

The victims include Sunnyside Bicycles in the Central Valley city of Fresno, where in October the suspect came in to buy a road bike and said it was for his uncle. The chip on his credit card didn't work, Sunnyside co-owner Vanessa McCracken said, so shop staff verified his ID and manually inputted the card. Sunnyside later discovered the card belonged to a woman from nearby Clovis and found the bike for sale on eBay. It has not been recovered.

The suspect returned to Sunnyside two weeks later and tried to get another bike, but he fled after co-owner John McCracken confronted him. An employee got a photo of his license plate, however, and Sunnyside also posted a surveillance camera photo of the suspect on Instagram to warn other businesses.

When the suspect entered another Central Valley retailer, Visalia Cyclery, the owner recognized him immediately and contacted Sunnyside and local authorities.

The suspect has attempted to purchase bikes at four different shops in the Central Valley, according to Visalia Police Det. Brian Young, who is investigating the incidents.

"It turns out he tried the same thing at our friends' shop in Burbank (near Los Angeles), Go Green Bicycle. So now we know he's not isolating himself to the Valley," Vanessa McCracken said.

The suspect has been identified as Marlon Markham, age 32. He is known to frequent the Bay Area and Central Valley. He's used a number of different aliases in attempting to purchase bikes with fraudulent credit cards, Det. Young said.

Young said Markham appears to have some knowledge of bicycles, always targeting high-dollar models. The detective is urging any business believed to have had contact with Markham to contact him at 559-713-4574. Retailers can also contact their local law enforcement agency and reference Case #193996 with the Visalia Police Department.


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