The bikes were confiscated due to trespassing

Marines who confiscated 45 mountain bikes in southern California have started returning them to their owners.

The bikes were taken over one weekend in mid-January from riders who riders were following trails on the eastern edge of the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, a part of the Sycamore Canyon Preserve. The riders were confronted by Marines who took their bikes then escorted them off the property and issued them with a $500 citation.

The San Diego Mountain Bike Association issued a warning on the Saturday evening that authorities were starting to enforce trespassing but that did not stop 45 riders having their bikes taken.

>>> £17,000 worth of mountain bikes and equipment stolen from Falkirk bike shop

65 days after they were confiscated, the first five riders had their mountain bikes returned yesterday after reaching a settlement out of court. The cyclists agreed to dismiss a civil suit and pay a $250 fine in exchange for termination of any criminal case and the return of the bikes. MCAS Miramar is asking other riders to contact the base if they would like to accept similar terms.

>>> Thief poses as a customer to steal £4,000 Intense from bike shop

Esteban Rodriquez, one of the riders who was able to recover his bike, told NBC 7 San Diego: “I love my military. I appreciate what they do for us, but it just seems that we couldn’t do anything. We were fighting against our own military.”

While fellow rider Bobby Davilla said: ““I have my bike back and that’s all that matters. Nobody got hurt, everything is cool. A settlement is a settlement and I just want to move forward and go ride.”

The US military has reportedly increased the sign posting around its base to avoid any incidents like this in future.