LOMA LINDA – A 47-year-old took the bait when sheriff’s deputies lured him into stealing a bicycle during a volunteer decoy operation this past weekend.
On Monday, deputies identified Jose Molina, of San Bernardino, as the suspect who attempted to steal a decoy bicycle during an operation designed to stop the recent rash of bike thefts in the city.
The Sheriff’s Central Station Reserve Unit conducted the operation on Sunday. Deputies placed a bicycle in front of various businesses throughout the city in hopes of catching any subjects who tried steal the bicycle, said authorities.
Molina attempted to steal the bicycle, valued at over $3,500, in the area of Redlands Blvd. and Coloma St.
This operation was conducted at no cost to taxpayers. The Sheriff’s Central Station Reserve Unit consists of volunteers who receive the exact same training as full time Deputy Sheriff. Typically, they are sworn in as reserve deputies. These deputies volunteer to conduct law enforcement duties on patrol and through various functions like this one. The bicycle was donated by a local bicycle shop in the city of Redlands which, according to reports, “was eager to assist law enforcement in preventing the thefts of bicycles, and catching those responsible for the thefts,” said Deputy Donald Patton.
The day-long operation only netted the single suspect, said deputies. They did not disclose whether Molina was responsible for other bicycle thefts in recent weeks. Investigators in bike thefts often discover that stolen bicycles are broken down into parts and sold on Craigslist and Facebook. Stolen bicycles have also been traced to dealers in other counties.