Man Charged with 20 Felony Counts for Stealing Over One Hundred Bicycles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167

ADA Alex Bastian, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1931

 SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced today that Irving Morales-Sanchez, age 18, was arraigned on 20 felony counts of receiving or buying stolen property. Mr. Morales-Sanchez was selling stolen bicycles on Craigslist and the Oakland Flea Market. Officers found 114 bicycles in his possession.

“Over the last five years, San Francisco has seen a 71% increase in bicycle riding. It is important to educate the public on how to prevent bike theft,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This individual was a big seller of stolen bicycles and fueling thieves to steal bicycles for a quick buck. By prosecuting the defendant we are dealing a blow to the marketplace of stolen bicycles.”

According to court documents, the San Francisco Police Department was notified by victims that their stolen bicycles were posted on Craigslist. Once notified, the SFPD investigated the matter and exercised a search warrant. The San Francisco Police Department recovered 8 bicycles from Morales-Sanchez’s San Francisco residence. The search led to self-serve storage lockers in Oakland where police found an additional 106 bicycles. The initial estimate of the value of all the bicycles is in excess of $10,000.

The San Francisco Police Department’s Station Investigations Team of Ingleside Station listed photographs of all the recovered bicycles on their website so that people can identify and claim their stolen property. Since then 20 of the bicycles have been identified by 19 victims. Photos of the stolen bicycles can be seen at the following link: http://s1257.photobucket.com/albums/ii510/InglesideInvestigations/

The Bicycle Coalition offers bike theft security classes and encourages riders to follow these general tips to prevent bike theft.

  • Always lock your bike with a U-lock, and secure the frame to the bike rack or pole. A cable lock is not enough.
  • Protect your investment by parking your bike in a visible, populated area. 
  • Consider securing your wheels and seat with skewers, or an additional cable, along with your U-lock.
  • Never lock your bike to a handrail, or a loose object. 
  • For more detailed suggestions on deterring bike theft, go to sfbike.org/theft
Morales-Sanchez was arraigned on July 17, 2012 in Department 12. His bail was set at $75,000. The preliminary hearing is set for July 30, 2012 in Department 12. Sgt. Kumli is the investigator on the case. Assistant District Attorney Larry DeSouza is handling the case.
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