SAN LORENZO — The Alameda County Sheriff's Office annual flea market fundraiser was probably the last place a San Lorenzo shopper expected to see her grandson's stolen bicycle for sale.

During the popular Sunday flea market in the old Mervyn's parking lot on Hesperian Boulevard, she spotted a man standing off to the side of the market with a BMX bike, holding a handmade sign that read "For Sale $20."

The bike was a different color, but when the woman called her grandson, he described some identifying marks that confirmed it was the same bike that had been stolen at Mervin Morris Park about 10 days before, sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.

The grandmother told deputies, who checked out the seller.

San Lorenzo resident Dennis Lum, 49, denied stealing the bike, saying that he had purchased and rebuilt it, Nelson said. The deputies didn't believe his story and detained him on suspicion of petty theft and receiving stolen property.

Lum, who already was on probation for burglary and possession of stolen property, was taken to Santa Rita county jail in Dublin and held on $15,000 bail.

"I have a feeling that he didn't know the flea market was sponsored by the sheriff's office," Nelson said. "As far as criminals are concerned, he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer."

Sheriff's technician Cherry Lemmon said the sheriff's annual flea market is so popular that this year it was held twice. The event raises funding for the sheriff's Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving unit based out of the Ashland Community Center.


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Jason Sweeney covers San Lorenzo. Reach him at 510-293-2469.