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Man willing to pay high price for bike to be returned

Laguna Beach resident Jim Benson is willing to pay $800 for the return of his stolen bike. He rode the bike in a coast-to-coast race across Costa Rica in 2006.

Jim Benson came to South Lake Tahoe to do some fishing and biking.

Now, the Laguna Beach resident is bound and determined to regain his stolen bicycle.

Benson's 2004 Cannondale "Lefty" fork was stolen during the early hours of Saturday morning. Benson said it was secured by a cable to his RV in the Campground by the Lake.

Benson said the bike has more sentimental value than what it can actually be sold for. He is offering $800 — no questions asked for return of the bike — and $3,000 for information leading the recovery and arrest of the bike thief.

Benson said the bike has meaning to him because he raced it in the La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica in 2006. The bike race is a coast-to-coast race across the Central America country.

"The bike was state-of-the-art nine years ago, but now it is old tired and worn out, kind of like me," Benson said. "In its condition it is not worth half of the $800 I am offering for recovery.

"It is an old friend and I just want it back no questions asked. Anyone, even the person that took it could come to me and tell me someone dumped it in their front yard and I'll give them $800. That is more than anyone else would pay for it. However, if the individual(s) who stole it want to do it the hard way, I will pay anyone $3,000, who can provide information leading to the felony arrest and prosecution of whoever took it."

Benson said the bike stands out in a crowd. The bike only has a single strut on the left side of the front tire.

Anyone with information can call the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at 530-542-6100 and reference case number 1405-7004.