Santa Cruz Police Department targets bike thieves

Santa Cruz residents deal with bike...

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Santa Cruz Police Department Downtown Unit and Neighborhood Enforcement Team have been conducting special bike theft stings over the last few weeks.

This was done in hopes of helping with the bicycle theft problems that have continues to be an issues throughout the city.

In multiple operations, one suspect was arrested on the east side of town, and two others were arrested in the downtown corridor.

Sam Eglite was found in possession of the stolen bike. Oscar Escalantes and Jose Ruiz were arrested for felony grand theft in the bait bike operation.

And residents are taking notice of the crimes.

"We kind of just make sure and keep an eye on our things and make it less attractive to steal a bike like even in the garage we keep our bike locked up in there as well," says Santa Cruz resident Mark Bussy.

Sterling Eiriksson, owner of Cycle Works in Santa Cruz says even if you lock your bike, it’s only a matter of seconds before someone with the right tools can cut the lock.

"They have battery powered angle grinders or very large bolt cutters that can even cut the strongest lock in seconds."

Santa Cruz Police are cracking down on theft. Chief Andy Mills says bike thieves are making it harder to identify stolen bikes by taking parts from multiple bikes to make what they call a "Frankenstein bike."

"We are trying to figure out some proactive things that we can do to go after those who are stealing bikes cutting them down, changing them turning them into what they call Frankenstein bikes which is basically a bunch of parts together so it's hard to determine whose bike it actually is."

The Santa Cruz Police Department is asking you to help them by locking your bike, as theft is a crime of opportunity.
You are also asked to register your bike. The services is free. Click here to register.

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