And now a little something from the police blotter: On a Sunday in mid-February, at around 9:15 p.m. in the Southern California town of Fontana, a man on foot robbed a man on a bicycle. .

The robber did not take his victim’s money. He didn’t demand the man’s credit cards. He didn’t even grab the bicycle.

He took only the guy’s tacos..

When I heard about the incident, I had the same thought you are having right now: Man, I gotta try one of those tacos.

I mean, how good must those tacos be to neglect all the usual robbery items, risk jail time, and even threaten somebody with what the police believed to be a gun? Oh, I didn’t mention the gun? .

Yeah, the robber “pointed what appeared to be a black handgun” at the victim, according to the police. He did not brandish it until -- and this is the amazing part -- the guy who had just been robbed ran after the robber to get his tacos back. .

Those must be some amazing tacos. .

I’LL ADMIT THAT until the unusual robbery made headlines, I had never heard of Fontana, California. .

I’ve since learned that Fontana is, quote, the “City of Action.” So says its website. And a glance at its history suggests the slogan may have merit. .

Consider: .

1. The Hells Angels motorcycle gang was formed there in 1948.
2. Mobster Al Capone had a house there, which reportedly came complete with a secret tunnel for easy escapes.
3. The most famous drummer in modern rock, Blink-182’s and +44’s tattoo canvas Travis Barker, grew up there. .

TALK ABOUT ACTION -- these are practically action figures. .

But the action isn’t just in Fontana’s past. On the outskirts of town, there is the Auto Club Speedway, which hosts not just one but two NASCAR Nextel Cup events each year. Look up the word action in your thesaurus, and you’ll see the synonym is NASCAR. .

I don’t know if motorcycle gangs, legendary mobsters, punk drummers, and race cars are what the good city fathers and mothers of Fontana had in mind when they came up with the sobriquet City of Action. Maybe they were referring to the town’s industriousness or to its fast-growing population, which has gone from some 128,000 residents in 2000 to an estimated 180,000 in 2007. .

Regardless of the intended meaning, Fontana, I think, lays a solid claim to being the City of Action. .

Which, in some way, makes the taco crime unsurprising. It is just not the sort of thing you hear about in Cities of Inaction..

A QUICK SPIN on the Internet reveals that along with its other claims to fame, Fontana seems to be a place where tacos are taken very seriously. The hits include Del Taco, King Taco, Tacos Xalisco, Tacos Unicos, La Chiquita Tacos, El Taco Ranchero, and El Taco Loro. And that’s just for starters. .

I also came across a website called (tagline: “celebrating the taco lifestyle in Los Angeles”). There was a photo essay titled “Topless Tacos,” which, in the interest of journalistic research, I clicked on immediately. It was a tribute to a place called Topless Tacos, where you “Add Your Own Top-pings.” Of course. What were you thinking? .

Tacos have come a long way since I first encountered them some 20 years ago. No longer are they just prepackaged hard-shell things filled with ground beef; they are now available as fresh corn or fl our tortillas encasing everything from marinated strips of beef to spicy pork. There are tacos al carbón, tacos al pastor, carne asada tacos, barbacoa tacos, fish tacos, chicken tacos, and -- perhaps my favorite -- breakfast tacos. .

When I lived in Austin, Texas, there was a small taco stand that stayed open until the wee hours. Its tacos were sublime, and one of the best things I’d do after a long night at the clubs was go there, try to decide between the taco al carbón (beef) and the al pastor (pork) while waiting in line, and then get one of each. No, actually, the best thing I’d do was stand under the night sky, simultaneously devouring and savoring the tacos, and suffer the exquisite torture of trying to figure out which one would make the perfect last bite. .

Yet as good as those tacos were, it never occurred to me to rob a guy for his tacos. But then, I have never been to Fontana, California.

Want to sign up for free e-mail notification of Jim Shahin's column or to see past columns? Click here!