Robert George and his son had just returned from a bike ride in Mountain View on Saturday, when the two went into their San Jose home to relax.
George put his bike in the side yard. And he asked his 12-year-old son, Jack, to do the same.
But as 12-year-olds are apt to do, Jack left the bike outside, unlocked, in George's pickup truck.
About three hours later, George's home surveillance video captured a hefty man with sandy brown curly hair tied in a pony tail and a plaid baseball hat walking calmly to the truck. Then the video shows the man lifting the specialized blue-and-white mountain bike out of the flatbed, and walking off.
"He was so upset," said George, a design engineer for a medical startup in Redwood City, referring to how his son felt. "I didn't say anything, it was just like pouring salt in his wound."
The video images are clear and sharp, and George contacted the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department -- and NBC Bay Area --to share them. George installed the surveillance system two years ago, after Jack's other bike was stolen off the porch.
Now, sheriff's investigators are actively seeking the bike thief. And they're more than happy to have civilians pitch in to help, especially if they turn in high-tech evidence to aid in the detective work.
"The worst part of a property crimes theft is when there are no witnesses," Sgt. Jose Cardoza said. "So it's a big benefit and an investigative lead'' when we have video images like the one George provided.
If anyone has information about the theft, please call the sheriff at 408-808-7800 and ask for the property crimes unit.
Contact Lisa Fernandez at 408-432-4758 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at Twitter.com/ljfernandez.