SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - The search is on for the thief who stole high end bikes from a South Bay nonprofit. Good Karma Bikes helps those who can't afford a bike.
The nonprofit has had break-ins before but the owner said not to this extent. The thief not only stole bikes from the shop once, but returned looking for more bikes.
“Honestly my first reaction was sadness for the person who did this,” said Jim Gardner who is the founder/CEO of Good Karma Bikes.
Just before 5 a.m., Gardner said a thief used a large rock to smash the shop's front door window and it didn't stop there. An hour later, the thief returned when Gardner was in the back room.
“While we were cutting the sheet plywood to patch up the broken window they came in again and stole more bikes,” said Gardner.
Among the bikes snatched include four high-end Torker bikes and a Canondale road bike that was taken right from the rack.
“When the second burglary of the day happened, I felt like wow we can't let our guard down for one second around here and that was eye-opening,” said Gardner.
He estimates all the merchandise is worth $3,000 and to the nonprofit, it’s a lot of money. Good Karma Bikes fixes used bikes and sells them. Money from the sales goes toward work training programs for the homeless and aged out youth in the foster system who can earn a bike for free.
Guy Haddox is a homeless veteran and said working here has boosted his morale.
"I love this place,” said Haddox. “He's trying to give people a leg up. He trains people to become bike mechanics.”
Growing up, Peter Thoumb didn't have a stable home life. He’s also benefited from the program.
“To have someone that comes in and targets a place that is doing so well is heartbreaking especially if they are the kind of people we are trying to help,” said Thoumb.
Gardner doubts he'll get the bikes back and said the thief is creating bad karma not good.
“We are just asking for people to keep an eye out and help us help other people,” said Gardner.
The nonprofit has insurance but the deductible isn't cheap. Gardner said they will be forking over $1,000 to beef up security measures including new alarms and cameras.