Santa Cruz police arrest man suspected of stealing bike from 10-year-old girl

Police arrested a 34-year-old man Tuesday, a day after he was suspected of stealing a bicycle in Santa Cruz from a 10-year-old girl.

Police responded to a 3 p.m. report Monday of a theft of a bicycle in the area of Bellevue Street and the railroad crossing a block south of State Route 1 on the west side of the city.   

Police learned that three children were riding their bikes home from school  along the Santa Cruz Coastal Trail near Bellevue Street, when their path was blocked by the suspect, Jordan Howard, who lives in Santa Cruz but has no address.   

Police said the children told them that Howard demanded one of their bikes before he would let them pass and then fled the scene on a bike belonging to one them, a 10-year-old girl.   

On Tuesday, the bike was spotted under the Soquel Avenue bridge by a Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department worker, who had seen a photo of the stolen bike on social media. 

He contacted police and officers went to the scene and found Howard in possession of the stolen bike.   

Police arrested him on suspicion of robbery and false imprisonment, for blocking the victim's ability to ride past him freely.   The bicycle was returned to its owner.