Craigslist ad leads CSUN police to bike predator

Sahil Shah

The CSUN Police Department caught a big break after learning a stolen bicycle reported by a student was found on Craigslist.com, leading them one step closer to a thief.

Former CSUN student Wilber Ibarra was arrested Feb. 9, after the victim had called police after seeing his stolen bike for sale online.

‘The bike was unique, the student custom-66built it with his dad and identified it right away,’ said Detective Sgt. Dana Archer.

According to Capt. Scott VanScoy, the victim’s girlfriend called Ibarra to look at the bike and buy it for her boyfriend.

Ibarra and the victim’s girlfriend agreed to meet in North Hollywood, Calif. where she could purchase the bike for $400.’ Police were setup across the street and moved in and arrested Ibarra before the exchange took place.’

Ibarra was brought into custody at CSUN holding facility CSUN’s, where he was questioned and’ suspected for another bike theft.

‘He admitted to another bike theft on the same day,’ said Archer.’

Archer added the second bike was stolen in front of Manzanita Hall.

Police later found a third bicycle at Ibarra’s home, which was reported stolen from in front of the University Student Union building Dec. 3.’

VanScoy said bike thefts don’t happen in one specific place on campus but all over and it comes in waves.’ The last person CSUN police caught for the wave of bicycle thefts was on his last strike and could be looking at a long prison term.

‘He was taking the bikes and selling them to day laborers at Home Depot,’ said VanScoy.’
A bike was stolen by the botanical gardens south of the USU but the suspect and bike were later found by an officer at a car wash on Partenia and Lindley.’ VanScoy said he and other officers had almost given up on finding the bike, but another officer had a feeling on one last place where the bicycle could be, and it happened to be there.

‘It was good on the officers second intuitive to go there and find the suspect,’ said VanScoy.

Since Sept. 1, nearly 40 bicycles have been stolen from CSUN’s campus, according to Sgt. Archer.

VanScoy said police department’ refurbish all of the unclaimed bikes they confiscated from the bikes thieves and refurbish them at Cycle World and then donate them to the Boys and Girls Club.

Some CSUN students like Brennan Ebaugh, a screenwriting major, recently had his bike stolen and didn’t report it to police believing the department wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.

However in a recent statement, Public Information Officer Christina Villalobos said the police department would send out a crime alert bulletin about the bicycle thefts to notify the community of what’s happening.

According to the school’s Web site, students can register bicycles for free by bringing them to CSUN’s police department.’ This will improve students’ chances of getting bikes back if it’s stolen.

Some CSUN students didn’t know there was an option of registering bikes on campus.

‘I didn’t know I could register my bike,’ said Karen Medina, a communications major.’ ‘I left my bike here over night during the weekend and was scared it would be gone when I got back.’

Other students don’t think they need to register bikes since they keep it in other locations than locked to bicycle racks.

‘I don’t need to (register) because I keep my bike in my dorm,’ said Xavier Burke, Cinema Televion and Visual Arts major.

VanScoy said a lot of beach cruiser-style bicycles have been stolen where as in past a wave of ‘nice looking mountain bikes’ were stolen.

In Ibarra’s Craiglists ad, he said that the bike was a ‘crazy ride to go along the beach,’ and ‘the style is very original and unique,’ two descriptions pointed out by the victim.

Archer said Ibarra’s court date will be held sometime next month and that the 3 cases of stolen bikes will be taken to the city attorney’s office.

According to, Archer said from his experience he noticed a lot of suspects who’re selling stolen bikes are buying dope with money earned.

Both VanScoy and Archer said the hardened U-type locks are much more effective locks for bikes and are much harder to break through.