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Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes - Metro Detail Dismantles Bicycle Burglary Ring

Sergeant Michael Maher of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Major Crimes - Metro Detail met with reporters today to announce the dismantling of a substantial bicycle theft burglary ring.

At the press conference, deputies displayed many of the bicycles which were recovered during the month long investigation into a residential HOT PROWL burglary crew.

These burglars would identify their prospective targets from the persons selling expensive bicycles on CRAIGSLIST. The suspects would make contact with the victims by using a fictitious name and email account. After establishing a dialogue about the bicycles with the sellers, the suspects would learn enough information to identify the residences where the bicycles were being kept. Much of this information was obtained directly from the unsuspecting victims and some was obtained by searching various Internet sites such as FACEBOOK and White Pages Online.

The suspects would then drive to the targeted residences and burglarize them between 1 AM and 4 AM, often times when the victims were steps away, asleep inside of their homes. Entry into the homes was made via garage door openers, which were left inside of accessible cars or by cutting the garage door at the top and using a makeshift tool to pull the garage door opener cord, detaching the opener from the door and allowing the door to be easily rolled up. Although many of the bikes were taken from the garages, often times the suspects would enter the living areas of the residence, to locate and steal the property.

After stealing the bikes, many valued between 5 and 15 thousand dollars, the suspects would return to Los Angeles and sell them to a bike shop owner in the city of Los Angeles.

After many nights of surveillance, Major Crimes Investigators watched as the burglary crew entered a residence in the city of Rancho Cucamonga, using the method described, and stole a bicycle valued at more than $5000.00. Investigators then followed the suspects directly to another residence in Rancho Cucamonga, where the suspects prepared to burglarize another home. The suspects were arrested in the act, without incident.

The property was recovered and returned to the victim immediately.

The three suspects were interviewed and implicated themselves in more than 100 residential burglaries. Subsequently, search warrants were prepared and served. Bicycles were recovered from a suspect's residence, the bicycle shop owned by the fence and a storage unit rented by the bike shop owner.

The burglary suspects are identified as:

Julian Herrera MH/23 of Los Angeles

Jaime Herrera MH/21 of Panorama City

Alberto Mejia MH/24 of Colton

They are being held in San Bernardino County Jail with a $2,000,000.00 bail.

The owner of the bike shop was interviewed and implicated the suspects in the theft of the bicycles and himself in the receiving of known stolen property. Criminal charges are pending against Melecio Martinez MH/33 of Los Angeles.

After the arrest, Investigators sent out an email to all of the persons who the suspects had contacted via Craigslist, using their fictitious names. As a result, we have identified approximately 15 victims and were able to return their property to them, valued at more than $100,000.

We are asking for the media's help in publicizing the arrests and the recovery of these bicycles, in an effort to return the property to the rightful owners. We know that the suspects committed their crimes in the Oak Park area of Ventura, Westlake Village, Augora, Victorville, Fountain Valley, Temecula, Murrietta, Santa Monica, Irvine, and Santa Clarita.

The investigation originated from a Santa Clarita burglary case which occurred in March 2012 on Redwood Glen Road in Saugus. During that case, an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sergeant saw the suspect vehicle, thought it was suspicious and noted the license plate number.

Victims are encouraged to call Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau at 562-946-7893. Please have the brand, model and serial number of your bicycles available, as well as the police report number documenting the theft.

Santa Clarita Sheriff's are investigating two new reported incidents of bicycle thefts during garage burglaries reported yesterday in the Valencia and Canyon Country areas. Santa Clarita residents should take extra precautions pertaining to the securing of high end bicycles. Immediately report suspicious persons or vehicles to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Yesterday's cases do not appear to be connected to this ring of burglars. One resident reported seeing a white van in the area of the most recent burglaries. That vehicle may or may not be connected to these crimes.

To report graffiti in the city please call (661) 25-CLEAN (252-5326) or visiting

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department


Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau Newsroom

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

4700 Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754



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