NOVATO, Calif. - A shipping container full of precious cargo that was stolen from a North Bay business has been recovered.
Ken Martin, the CEO of Mike’s Bikes in Novato said the container was found abandoned in Concord Monday morning and thankfully it appears the hundreds of bikes that were placed inside are still there.
It's unclear who stole the bikes, but Martin said the container was hauled on a stolen semi-trailer truck on Sunday.
Mike's Bikes collects bikes in Northern California and then ships them to various countries in Africa.
Martin said the bikes may not have tremendous value here, but they are worth a lot to the people who were supposed to get them.
"It was an absolute punch to the gut. Just devastating," he said. "It's heartbreaking. It’s both disgusting and heartbreaking."
On the morning of Feb. 21 surveillance video captured a white semi-truck rolling onto the company's parking lot. Moments later, the rig is seen hooked up to a trailer and with the shipping container attached. The container was filled with 500 donated bicycles destined for Botswana.
Generous people from across Northern California donated the bikes to Martin's foundation which he started more than a decade ago to help entrepreneurs in Africa run small bike shops.
For fourteen years, his nonprofit has donated about 37,000 bicycles in 74 different containers, all without incident, until someone took off with container 75.
All indications point to the container being targeted, but Martin believes the thieves thought they would be getting their hands on a load of new expensive bikes.