SANTA CRUZ (BCN)-- Five people were arrested on Friday and Saturday in an operation in which police placed a bait bike in downtown Santa Cruz and watched to see if anyone would try to steal it.
Within several minutes of when officers placed the bicycle in various locations around the downtown area, thieves tried to steal it before being promptly arrested, police said.
Ladonia Miller, a 40-year-old male transient from Santa Cruz, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of methamphetamine. Michael France, a 30-year-old Santa Cruz male transient, was arrested on
suspicion of grand theft, according to police.
Terry Ford, a 42-year-old Santa Cruz man, was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and a probation violation, while Shad Stephens, a 37-year-old male transient from Santa Cruz, was arrested on suspicion of
grand theft, probation violation and possession of controlled substances for sale, police said.
The fifth suspect arrested, 40-year-old Derek Marquette, a transient male from Santa Cruz, was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and possession of multiple controlled substances for sale.
Santa Cruz police said they recover hundreds of bicycles per year, but many are unregistered by serial number so officers have no way to track down the owners. The department encourages residents to register their bikes for free online at: www.cityofsantacruz.com/departments/police/bicycle-license-registration.