Oceanside police officer Chris Ruedi said he responded to a radio call after a man who had reported his $3,000 bicycle stolen that morning claimed he saw a man riding his bicycle in the beach area, later that same day.
It was three weeks ago when the theft victim followed his stolen bicycle and its rider, he used his cell phone while he drove his truck, and gave updates to police while his expensive bike wheeled from the 900 block of North Coast Highway to the 200 block of Surfrider Way, the cop said.
The officer testified during a brief court hearing on September 17.
Officer Ruedi said he had taken the stolen-bike report a few hours earlier, on August 29. The victim said his bike was removed from the rack on the front of his truck when he parked overnight in a camping area of Oceanside Harbor.
Officer Ruedi said he stopped the suspect, a young man wearing brown shorts and a white t-shirt, and the alleged victim parked nearby. The victim showed police photos of the black and gold mountain bike on his cell phone, and said his Giant Reign mountain bike had custom features and a one-of-a-kind paint job. The victim declared, “Yeah, it’s my bike. Custom paint job. There’s not another one like it.”
The suspect allegedly said he bought the bike from “a Samoan” for a hundred dollars. “He thought it may have been stolen or he should have known based on who he bought it from,” the cop testified. The suspect reportedly said “the Samoan” was known for stealing bicycles. “He said, 'I’m not surprised,' something to that effect,” according to officer Ruedi.
When he looked in the suspect’s black backpack, the cop found a glass pipe with “white residue from methamphetamine.” Inside, there were also numerous hand tools, wire cutters, bolt cutters, gloves, miscellaneous allen wrenches and hex tools. The cop described what he called “a window punch, a small pointed tool designed to shatter windows on vehicles.”
The suspect admitted he wrote the words GOING TO THE RV PARKING LOT IN THE HARBOR FOR BIKES and BICYCLES (PREFERABLE ROAD BIKES) in a red notebook in his pack. He told the cop he made those notes as a reminder to himself to meet someone in the harbor.
Christian P., 21, pleads not-guilty to felony theft, misdemeanor possession of burglary tools, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Judge Blaine Bowman noticed that at the time of his most recent arrest, P. was on probation for a prior petty theft charge. And he has two other, prior arrests for drug and theft charges.