Suspect arrested in connection to bicycle thefts

Danielle Directo

A man was arrested last week ?in connection to about 30 bicycle thefts spanning from August to November of this year.

Craig Varner, 46 and a non-CSUN student, was arrested Nov. 20 by CSUN police responding to a call made by a CSUN staff member who witnessed suspicious activity, said Christina Villalobos, CSUN police department spokesperson.

A stolen bicycle was subsequently found in Varner’s possession, along with burglary tools, Villalobos said.’ The suspect was booked at LAPD Van Nuys, according to CSUN’s crime log.

Officers responded to the east side of campus south of the University Student Union area and ‘later located the suspect at the corner of Lindley and Parthenia about 15 minutes after the theft occurred,’ said Villalobos.

A crime alert had been issued Nov. 13 after bike thefts from bicycle racks and from?the on-campus University Park Apartments were reported beginning in October.? Nearly half of the thefts occurred in November, said Villalobos.

Villalobos said three bicycles have been recovered and?CSUN police are?’hoping to clear an additional 28 theft cases as a result’ of the arrest.

Varner had two prior convictions for burglary-related offenses, said Villalobos.’ As a result of his arrest made by CSUN police, which was considered Varner’s third strike, the suspect is facing 25 years to life in prison, said Villalobos.

CSUN police ask that students who may have had a bicycle stolen report the theft to campus authorities so the recovered bikes may be returned to their owners.