UPDATED: Police arrest 3, thwart bike thefts

UPDATED Dec. 21 with details on the Dec. 14 arrest.


By Dateline staff

Campus police reported making three arrests, Dec. 8 to 14, on charges of possession of stolen property and attempted bike theft — with all of the cases involving bicycles, and one of those cases also involving firearm and drug charges.

Meanwhile, some folks on campus are getting their bikes back after a bust in Dixon.

Here's what we know about the arrests on campus:

  • Dec. 8, around 8:45 a.m. — Police reported seeing a man with bolt cutters in the vicinity of Robbins Hall, west of the Quad. Officers questioned the man and subsequently arrested him for investigation of attempted theft and failure to pay a fine. The suspect lives in Davis but is a not a student.
  • Dec. 10, around 9 p.m. — Police said they received a call from a resident of the Russell Park Apartments who reported seeing a man attempting to cut a bike lock. Officers detained the man, identified as Anthony Perez of Sacramento, and arrested him for investigation of attempted theft and probation violation.
  • Dec. 14, about 5:30 a.m. — Police said they apprehended John Birtwistle, 31 of Woodland after he fled from officers who had responded to the Primero Grove housing area on a report of a man stealing bicycles. Birtwistle made his getaway on a bike, according to police, who said they caught up with him after he ditched the bike and tried to run.

Police said they found five high-end bicycles — all allegedly stolen — in Birtwistle's truck, which he had parked nearby. Officers said they also recovered other people's mail, allegedly stolen from around Yolo County; methamphetamine and two firearms.

Officers booked Birtwistle on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of a control substance and being a felon in possession of a firearm; and resisting/delaying a peace office by fleeing on a bike when told to stop.

With most students gone for winter break, police said, officers  have not yet been able to confirm ownership of the bicycles — including the one Birtwistle rode when trying to get away.

Dixon police track bike ownership

On Dec. 5, Dixon police stopped a box truck with 31 bicycles in the back — and authorities have connected more than a half-dozen of those bikes to UC Davis students and Davis residents.

Sgt. Glenn Cooper said police arrested the people riding in the truck, Michael Hand, 39, and Kathryn Mceachern, 30, both of Davis, accusing them of conspiracy, possession of stolen property and drug charges.

Cooper said three bikes have been returned to UC Davis students, and campus police are working to get three more bikes back to their owners, based on data in bike registratrion systems. At least two other bikes are registered to Davis residents.

If you think your bike may be among those confiscated, send an email to Cooper with the bike’s descrption and serial number.

Campus officials remind students, faculty and staff: If your bike is stolen, file an online crime report with campus police. Also, if you’re leaving your bike on campus over winter break, try to store it indoors.

Every bicycle on on campus must have a California bike license, available at Transportation Services. A license costs $10 and is valid until the end of the second year after purchase, so licenses purchased in January will be good until the end of 2018. The renewal fee is $5.

More information on bicycle licenses, part of the Bicycle Program website.

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Media Resources

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556, dljones@ucdavis.edu

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