Craigslist Bike Thieves Busted
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department busted a ring of bicycle thieves who used Craigslist and Facebook to prey on victims. Detectives held a news conference today to display some of the stolen bikes hoping to find their owners.
The bikes weren't your average boardwalk beach cruisers. These were designed for racing and mountain biking. At least 200 bikes were stolen, worth an estimated $250,000, according to City News Service.
Detectives believe that the thieves targeted their victims by looking at Craigslist to see who had the most expensive property, according to the Los Angeles Times. After emailing with the owners, the suspects allegedly searched Facebook profiles to look up their victims and their victims' friends to find more potential targets.
Three men allegedly involved with the crimes were arrested. Julian Herrera, 23, his brother Jamie Herrera, 21, and 34-year-old Alberto Mejia face counts of burglary and conspiracy. Authorities told the Los Angeles Times that these men were operating on the Westside back in 2009. Meija, Julian Herrera, and Julian's uncle Marvin Herrera were convicted in 2011 and served a few weeks in jail.
After they were released the high-end bike thefts continued, but operations were spread out to the O.C., Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.
Did your mountain bike get jacked? Contact the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau at (323) 267-4800.