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Man stole bikes in San Francisco and shipped them to Mexico, feds say

Prosecutors said the bikes were stolen during nighttime burglaries.

A lineup of yellow and one red-and-white Cervélo road bikes with Shimano parts, mounted on a vehicle rack.
A federal grand jury has indicted a San Jose man on charges of participating in a complex scheme to steal high-end performance bicycles and e-bikes from around the Bay Area to resell in Mexico. | Source: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

A federal grand jury has indicted a San Jose man on charges of participating in a complex scheme to steal high-end performance bicycles and e-bikes from around the Bay Area to resell in Mexico.

Victoriano Romero, 53, of San Jose, was charged with one count of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in foreign commerce and two counts of transportation of stolen goods in foreign commerce, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California.

The indictment, which was filed Jan. 23 and unsealed Thursday, describes the theft of nine bicycles costing between $3,000 and $9,000 from April 2020 to April 2021.

Prosecutors allege that Romero received stolen bikes that were acquired during nighttime burglaries at homes in San Francisco and Redwood City. He then disassembled them at his San Jose auto shop before sending them to a co-conspirator in Jalisco, Mexico, according to the indictment.

Romero is also accused of sending pictures of the stolen merchandise to the co-conspirator who then used the images to sell the bikes on sites like Facebook.

The co-conspirator, who was not indicted, posted pictures of the stolen bicycles on a Facebook sales page using a virtual private network, or VPN, so that only persons in Mexico could see that the bicycles were for sale, according to prosecutors. He also kept a ledger listing the profits from the sales of the bikes.

Romero made his initial court appearance Thursday and was released on bond, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 10.

Joel Umanzor can be reached at jumanzor@sfstandard.com