SAN RAFAEL — Bicycle sales and bicycle thefts are rising during the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to bicycle thievery, San Rafael police conducted a sting operation and nabbed two chronic offenders.
On May 19, officers left a locked bike unattended in a commercial area on the 700 block of B Street. Within 15 minutes, a usual suspect was issued a citation—instead of being arrested.
Officers observed Dion Economopoulos, 41 of San Rafael, cut the lock and ride away. Officers detained Economopoulos nearby, but he claimed the bike belonged to him, even though officers saw him steal it.
Due to the Covid-19 risk for jail inmates, Economopoulos was handed a felony citation, and he signed a promise to appear in court.
Economopoulos is charged with grand theft, possession of burglary tools, and carrying a concealed dagger. He is also charged with probation violation.
After finishing with Economopoulos, officers moved the bicycle to another location. It was secured with a new lock and left unattended, near the intersection of Francisco Boulevard East and Bellam Boulevard.
This time, officers watched Travis T. White, 50 of Sausalito, cut the lock and begin riding away. When White was detained, he insisted that someone had given him the bicycle.
Likewise, White was issued a felony citation rather than being arrested. His charges are grand theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, and probation violation.
Both jailbirds, Economopoulos and White, have lengthy prior arrest records. Economopoulos has several prior arrests for thefts, disorderly conduct, causing a fire and other offenses. White has been arrested 31 times for burglaries, illicit drug possession, thefts, and other crimes.