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'California Bike Bandit' Suspect Found Dead

The man who was arrested at Sunshine Bicycle Center in Fairfax last month is found dead in an East Bay hotel. Police had planned to serve a search warrant for his computer for alleged possession of child pornography.

The suspected California Bike Bandit who was nabbed in Fairfax last month was found dead in an East Bay hotel of an apparent suicide, according to an article in the Marin IJ.

Jason Kurt Fashimpaur, a 41-year-old resident of Sausalito, was free on bail after his arrest on suspicion of possessing stolen property and suspected methamphetamine. He was also linked to a rash of bicycle thefts in San Rafael, Corte Madera, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Berkeley and Santa Barbara. 

According to the Marin IJ article, Sausalito police were also investigating Fashimpaur for allegedly possessing child pornography and were preparing to get a search warrant for his computer when police learned he was dead.

 when he went to test drive a $2800 bicycle at in Fairfax using a temporary driver’s license without a photo ID attached.

An employee thought Fashimpaur resembled the suspect dubbed the "California Bike Bandit," suspected in a rash of bicycle shop thefts in Southern California and the Bay Area. His photo and video surveillance had been circulated in a crime bulletin to bicycle shops by the San Francisco Police Department.

The bicycle shop's manager notified police and the suspect was held until an employee of City Cycle in Corte Madera, another shop hit, could make a positive identification.

There have been other bike shops in Marin that have been hit by thefts, including Village Peddler in Corte Madera, California Bike-N-Bean in San Rafael and Classcycle in Novato. In one incident, the shop owner chased down the thief with the help of a customer on a motor scooter.

According to the Marin Superior Court calendar, Fashimpaur's preliminary hearing was set for May 24 at 9 a.m.

Jim Welte contributed to this report.

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