CSUN police arrest two juvenile suspects on bicycle theft charges

Carl Robinette

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CSUN police arrested two juveniles in connection to a bicycle theft outside the Oviatt Library Monday after a witness reported suspicious behavior to police around 5 p.m.

Police arrived at the scene within minutes and found the two suspects in possession of bolt cutters and other tools assumed to be used in the theft of bikes said said Chirstina Villalobos, community relations officer for CSUN police.  The witness reported that one of the suspects acted as a lookout while the other broke through the lock.

They were both charged with possession of burglary tools and bike theft,  and a third suspect, also a juvenile, was questioned by police and released with no charges against him according to Villalobos. The names of the suspects are not available.

“They knew what they were doing, but they were also going to the easy target,” Villalobos said.

She said bikes secured by cable-style locks are more vulnerable than those with U-shaped locks.

The witness who phoned in the report was able to lead officers to suspects, Villalobos said.

“I think our community is really good about feeling comfortable about calling our department,” said Police Captain Scott VanScoy. “(They are) partnering with us and trying to prevent crime.”
The name of the witness is being held until the case is officially filed.  The witness was not a CSUN student or faculty member according to VanScoy.

Bike theft is a common crime committed on college campuses, Villalobos said.

About 220 bikes were reported stolen in 2011. Of these, only 12 arrests were made, VanScoy said.

“We’ve been having some bicycle thefts plaguing us here for a little bit,” VanScoy said. “We’ve been monitoring it, trying to figure out when and where and how.  They’ve kind of all circled around the Oviatt Library.”

One of the suspects was previously arrested by CSUN police in July and charged with giving false identification to police officers.  The suspect who was not charged had been arrested by CSUN police in August and charged with possession of burglary tools and bike theft, Villalobos said.

“Two of these three individuals are known to us,” Villalobos said.  “We’ve had contact with them before for the same reason.  Hopefully we won’t have them back on campus.”

One of the suspects was also charged with minor possession of tobacco and another was also charged with giving false identification to a police officers.  None of the suspects are students at CSUN.