Tyler Grant Boyd – images from Facebook
These days, when your valuable property has been taken via burglary or theft, it is usually a good idea to check Craigslist or other on-line re-selling services to see if your stolen item is suddenly being offered for sale. For the thief, the on-line selling process avoids the low returns and high risk of dealing with a pawn shop or finding a criminal “fence” who will take the goods. But countless criminals have been captured when placing a nice camera, iPad, or video game system up for sale after the owner sees it and alerts police. Some thieves are now getting wise to the risks, and have come up with new methods to avoid detection, like holding items in storage for a few months until they are “off the radar”.
28-year-old Tyler Peter Grant Boyd of Santa Rosa seems to have tried just that method, but, according to Santa Rosa Police Sergeant Josh Ludtke, detectives were more than a match for him.
Earlier this summer, someone had parked their bicycle at a bike rack in the city’s historic Railroad Square. The high end mountain bike, a “Specialized” brand costing around $8,000, was secured with a lock and chain while the owner was away. Someone, suspected to be Boyd, cut the lock and removed the bike. It appears that he placed it in a storage unit for several months.
On Monday, October 12, having sat on the bike for a while, Boyd advertised it for sale on-line. But Santa Rosa Police Property Crimes detectives check those sites regularly, and saw the bike as potentially matching the one stolen from Railroad Square. A detective contacted the seller as an interested buyer, and, after confirming through conversation that it was still a likely match, arranged to meet with Boyd to have a look at the merchandise.
That meeting did not go as Boyd had hoped. The undercover detectives revealed themselves, and detained Boyd. Their investigation led them to his storage unit, which had plenty of other stolen and suspected stolen items. They also confirmed that they had the stolen Specialized bike, and arrested Boyd for possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and violating his probation.
A friend of the suspect stated that Boyd had bought the bike from a third party and was just trying to re-sell it. He reportedly paid just $200 for the $8,000 Specialized bike.
But Tyler Boyd’s history with the law goes back to July 2009. Then 22, he was living in Sebastopol when he was arrested in Willits, in Mendocino County, for possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia, and being under the influence. He was then arrested in November of 2011, while living in Santa Rosa, for driving with a suspended license and a probation violation. He was in Willits again in January 2013 when he was arrested for another probation violation.
In December of 2013 he was arrested in Marin County on charges of domestic violence – inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or co-habitant. That arrest was based on a bench warrant from a 2009 incident, and he faced the same charge again in May of this year from the Marin Sheriff’s Department. Further details of those arrests were not available.
It is, of course, entirely possible that Boyd has, like many with a history with the law, had trouble finding traditional work to earn a living. Employers often use background checks on potential hires, and shy away from anyone with a record, leaving those with a colored past fewer options to each a living. Some have turned to methods like looking for bargains on-line or at garage sales, fixing up the items and re-selling them for profit. It is possible that any stolen property, like the bike, was sold to him by the real thieves and he is an innocent victim.
However, possession of stolen property, especially of high value items, can be a felony as much as stealing it yourself. But if Boyd has good documentation and information about his sources to share with the detectives, he may get off a lot easier.
Anyone with information related to the Santa Rosa stolen bicycle case, or thinks they may be another victim, is encouraged to contact Santa Rosa Police or Detective Holzapfel at 707-543-3675.