Witness photo of suspect, later identified as Walkenbach
SANTA CRUZ — Two bike owners are happy and a suspect is behind bars after an attempted theft in the area of Ocean and Felker Streets.
44-year-old John Walkenbach, a transient local to Santa Cruz, has been arrested and charged with grand theft — as the total cost of the stolen bikes totaled to over $5,000.
On Sunday, May 21, the suspect rode off with a Santa Cruz mountain bike, but apparently didn’t count on another passing cyclist witnessing the theft.
The witness got close enough to take a photo, but Walkenbach rode off into traffic. The witness then turned the photo over to the police, who positively identified Walkenbach as the culprit.
The next day, officers found Walkenbach riding a different bike in the same area. He was then arrested and charged with grand theft.
During the arrest, another witness approached officers and asked if they’d seen a red-colored specialized Epic Brake bike, apparently worth over $3,000. As it so happened, a park ranger at the scene had found the bike abandoned in the bushes near San Lorenzo Park.
Walkenbach was later interviewed and police were able to recover the stolen Santa Cruz bike.