In what is being referred to as how the Grinch stole Christmas, Tehachapi experienced a heavy loss after a cargo trailer containing the annual GranFondo's equipment and supplies was stolen from a storage yard at Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District.
Minutes after closing its doors the night of Dec. 20, a surveillance camera captured images of two individuals gaining access to a secured, fenced storage yard located at TVRPD's main office and stealing the cargo trailer, including an iconic, inflatable arch.
According to Bill Fisher, operation manager for TVRPD, the suspects unbolted a section of the chain-link fence surrounding the yard to gain access.
Fisher said the suspects first had to hook up a dump trailer to their own vehicle and move it to the parking lot before they could reach the cargo trailer and haul it away.
Fisher said it took the thieves more than an hour to steal the cargo trailer.
Fisher said that on Wednesday morning he received a call from the Bakersfield Police Department stating the cargo trailer was found at a Bakersfield residence.
"We drove there and picked it up rather than having them tow it into an impound yard and having to pay those fees," Fisher said.
According to Fisher, the license plate had been removed from the trailer, but identification was made by the Vehicle Identification Number.
Once recovered, Fisher said it was discovered that the GranFondo equipment had been removed from the trailer, which was filled instead with "junk." The equipment that is used each year for the annual bike event remains missing with the exception of two banners that were found on East California Avenue and Brown Street in Bakersfield before the trailer was recovered.
Fisher said the lost GranFondo equipment was valued between $9,000 and $12,000.
Bakersfield Police Department Detective Ryan Vaughan confirmed that at least one arrest was made in connection to the theft and that there is an ongoing investigation.
Asked how the theft would impact this year's GranFondo, Fisher said, "Everything will be replaced by then, I do believe."