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A San Jose man suspected to be the head of an underground fencing operation was arrested and police seized stolen bicycles, construction tools and other goods valued at nearly $100,000.

Jose Guadalupe Barba, 56, was arrested May 27 after a search warrant at his home, police said Monday.

During the search, police found expensive bikes, crates of construction tools, retail merchandise that still had security sensors, and over $20,000 in cash. Detectives are trying to identify owners of the seized property, estimated to be worth nearly $100,000.

The investigation, dubbed Operation Flat Tire, was launched six months ago after the San Jose police burglary prevention unit noticed an increase in thefts of expensive bikes and construction equipment, especially in the downtown area.

Detectives identified Jose Guadalupe Barba as the suspected head of an underground bicycle fencing operation that was being run out of a home on Almaden Avenue near Interstate Highway 280. Barba allegedly purchased stolen construction equipment and high-end bicycles from a multitude of suspects who committed the thefts, often paying a small fraction of the item’s actual value, police said.

After being arrested, Barba bailed out and is not currently in custody, police said.

Anyone with information about the investigation is asked to contact the SJPD Financial Crimes Unit at 408-277-4521.

Persons wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (408) 947-STOP (7867) or click the “Submit a Tip” on the link below. Persons providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers.

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