A 40-year-old man was robbed of his bicycle by two men late Thursday outside a taco shop near 18th and R streets, Merced police reported.
The incident occurred shortly before midnight at Maria's Taco Shop, 1750 R St., said Lt. Bimley West.
The victim told police he'd ordered food and had walked back to his bicycle when he saw two men looking at his bike with a flashlight. One of the men claimed the bicycle belonged to him, West said.
After the victim protested saying he was the owner of the bike the suspect brandished an 8- to-10-inch-long kitchen knife. The suspect told the victim he could turn over the bicycle -- or die, West said.
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Meanwhile, the second man stood by with his fists clenched. Fearing he was going to be attacked, the victim backed away from his bike, and the men took it. The thieves were last seen walking eastbound on West 18th Street, West said.
The description of the suspects is sketchy. They are both described as Latinos in their late teens or early 20s. One was wearing a light-colored sweat jacket, while the other was wearing light-colored clothing.
Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call detective Keith Pelowski at (209) 385-4712 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Calls are kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.