Suspect in California Test Ride Thefts Arrested

Dec 17, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  
As reported by Bicycle Retailer, police arrested a suspect in relation to a series of test ride thefts that took place at multiple Southern California bike shops.

The suspect, Anthony Negreary, was identified after facial recognition software was used on security camera footage from Newbury Park Bicycle Shop, where a $6,600 bike was stolen on a test ride. The bike was later recovered through a Craigslist ad, according to owner Ben Cox.

It's common practice for shops to require test riders to leave a credit card and their ID with a staff member, but in this case, according to Ventura County Sheriff's Department Detective Paul Ferruzza, Negreary used stolen identity information to create credit cards and identification with his own photo.

According to Bicycle Retailer, shop owner Ben Cox has compiled a list of as many as 14 other shops in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange counties who have had bikes stolen in the same or similar way in recent months. Mike France, owner of Fullerton Bicycles and Buena Park Bicycles in Orange County, said Negreary left one of his managers a credit card, driver's license, wallet, set of keys, and a cell phone before riding off with a $4,900 Santa Cruz Hightower LT.

Authorities are encouraging retailers who have experienced similar thefts to contact their local law enforcement agency.

Santa Cruz



99 Comments

  • + 214
 Shops have a hard time staying afloat these days. As much as I'd like to see him lose his braking fingers, be hung by the unmentionables, or any number of other medieval punishments, honestly, a just punishment would be 1 hour of service to the bike community for every dollar in bicycles he stole, or something like that. He can clean up trash at bike parks, move dirt, water tracks, maybe help dig, clean up at his victim's shops, do some power washing, take recyclables to the dump, etc. I'd love to see more just punishments in this country - instead of sending non-violent offenders to jail to get worse and be abused, why not garnish their wages and make them do service? Some of these dregs would maybe even learn a positive skill or two, perhaps be able to pick up a positive hobby and maybe build some trust back in the communities they wronged, all while giving back to atone for their crimes.
  • + 50
 The only thing that our government seems to agree on is prison reform. You are correct. The prison recidivism rate is around 83%. We spend more money incarcerating criminals than the theft loss that caused their convicted (non-violent). We should have chain gangs fixing trails, making jumpsSmile
  • + 64
 The prison industrial complex is a very powerful force in the country. Locking people up is a big profitable business.
  • + 27
 @mexicant: I have, on occasion, run into chain gangs doing trail work in the Malibu area...almost always female prisoners.
They cat call the shit out of you when you ride by too Smile
  • + 16
 So the community is now forced to employ the services of a felon for 4,000 hours? And who is going to supervise this guy and make sure he is not stealing and pillaging while doing this work in the very same shops he stole from? The same bike shop owner who is scraping by, and now not getting repaid for his loss by the guy who stole it because he's busy powerwashing sidewalks. I'm pretty liberal when it comes to crime and punishment, but would you allow a burglar back into your home to vacuum as his punishment and atonement? F-that. He may not be the worst guy in jail, yet that's where he belongs.
  • + 7
 NEW WORLD DISORDER 5 and 6....
  • - 3
 People have no respect for peoples property. "probation" and community service doesnt do shit. They commit these crimes because they know they wont get any time for it. This a*shole doesnt ride bikes, its a commodity .

What they do understand is biting a pillow for bubba.
Pot crimes? probation. Property crimes? DO like they in other countries, cut off fingers.
  • + 1
 @Dustfarter: Yep, I've encountered them. Same with contestants from Big Fat Loser.
  • + 4
 @sino428: here in Canberra we've used prisoners to clear trails after forest work. Apparently they are awesome.
  • + 6
 @DanKaplan: so now society is forced to deal with this criminal for X months? And who's going to supervise this guy in prison, on parole, and re-arrest him in 2 years?

I agree with your sentiment, but it's not like putting people in prison is free. It cost a huge whack of money to house and feed a prisoner, and putting non-violent moderate criminals into prison turns them into hardcore thugs for life.
  • + 1
 @iamamodel: cool, had no idea - Majura and Kowen? Admirable that ACT Gov used its (unconventional) resources to clean up the unpopular mess it created
  • + 2
 @sino428: the massive amount of prisoners are an excuse to allocate tax money to the prison system (and thus, collect more), and the companies that get the government contracts make a whole boat load off the government paying them that tax money. I have always pondered a system along the lines of the one described in this video www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzYJYSm-MfI

Anyway, I have a whole theory/analysis on the judicial system (including why there's more poor people in jail, more cops in inner cities, etc) but I will save it for another time. Maybe I'll post the whole thing if this comment section keeps the discussion rolling haha

@owlie I didn't say just a little community service. I think you should be indebted to the person you steal from for something like 10-100x that of what you steal, which a court can adjudicate. Basically make it a terrible pain in the ass to be a thief, where you basically become an indentured servant until your debt has been repaid. Then, you work, you pay the bill for your probation officer (or whoever keeps tabs on you), you pay your victims back 10x-100x the value of the goods you stole, but you don't go to prison and get f*cked up and become worthless to yourself and society. The one caveat would be that I think the owners of property should be allowed to defend that property, so if you get hit in the ass with bird shot while you're stealing a Hightower, you shouldn't be able to press charges or sue. I just don't think harsh punishments dished out by the government really solve problems, unless you want to live in a police state. I mean, hey, Singapore is a pretty nice police state, so that argument could be made.
  • + 1
 @caltife Stromlo originally. Where do you think Crim Track got its name?
  • + 1
 @DanKaplan: shock collar? GPS ankle-tracking device? Matrix blue pill?
  • + 1
 @owlie: Law of Hammurabi. Institute law of "greater of two evils" ex: if you are of Thai descent/origin, and in your country you go to jail for dealing drugs/possession, then that is what you are subject to when you commit a crime in a Western Country. NO exceptions.
  • + 7
 @trialsracer: except they have no reason to show up for said community service. Then they get a warrant, roam around for a few years as a straight up citizen (lol) then get pulled over for a turn signal and complain they had no idea they had a warrant. Two more nights in jail, Released OR..
  • + 7
 @elshadow: Im not sure what that argument is exactly. But down here these property crimes feed bigger drug problems, and violence. But the punishment for breaking into homes, or committing felony larceny is the same or less as a dui. The consequences of me encountering someone in my house at 2:00 am trying to make $50 is substantial to everyone
  • + 4
 @DanKaplan: Ever heard of the term 'hard labour' hanging off someone's prison sentence? There ain't so much of it anymore but there probably should be...they should be a Slave to Our Flow!
  • + 1
 @DanKaplan: A lot of countries have community service and people specifically employed to operate it, makes a lot more semse than locking someone up
  • + 3
 If he's put to work on the trails, he'll need h&s training, a supervisor of some type, insurance, a portaloo, correct working gear, etc, etc, etc. It's not like the chaingangs back in the good old days.
  • + 2
 @mexicant: Well nicely worded. I've never seen the word "recidivism" used in my adult life! Hats off to you sir
  • + 3
 Lucky for all of us, he's in California and with all the crimes that have recently been given reduced penalties as of late, he'll be back on the street in about 3 minutes...
  • + 3
 @trialsracer Oh! I think i saw that after school special too!! The work was tough at first, and no one trusted Billy after he stole from the shop, but eventually he earned the other bike shop workers trust and it turned out that he was a really fast racer and the nice old shop owner GAVE him the bike that he tried to steal and he won the race wearing the shop's team jersey!! Very inspirational.....
  • + 1
 @DanKaplan:

Upvote times 1,000. I agree whole heartedly
  • + 3
 All these people talking about how these felons don’t need prison time have probably spent very little time actually dealing with these felons.

Prison is meant to give society a break from someone, so that good people (in this case the shop owners) won’t be continuously victimized. This dude just committed multiple felonies, society should get a break from him for a bit. He can even attend treatment and get an education while he’s in prison.... if he cares... which he probably doesn’t.
  • + 1
 @owlie: bingo. You just gave a perfect example. It is folly for people to assume that many of these felons will actually show up at a designated time and place to “repay their debt”. As soon as many of these people are released on bail, they are in the wind, skipping their court dates and such until they are contacted randomly like you described.
  • + 1
 @Whitecollar: assumed it was derived from CrimTrac but if it was built by prisoners then that is some next level pun
  • + 61
 12 years later, obviously not reformed, only improved his methods.

www.csun.edu/pubrels/press_releases/spring06/burglary.html
  • + 3
 This needs to be higher. What a sack of shit.
  • + 2
 why is it so hard to find a pic of my Mr anthony negreary to post online, would be great to see this POS.
  • + 2
 You can bet there's a drug habit underlying this turd's motivations/justifications.
  • + 34
 Should be punished by having SRAM brakes on his bikes for life.
  • + 22
 Lifetime ban on purchasing bleed kits and no earplugs
  • - 1
 This should be the number one comment!
  • + 28
 What a cuntbag
  • + 3
 yup, that's the technical term for folks like him
  • + 37
 @Zziplex Would that be like a fannypack?
  • + 4
 @h82crash: well yes but I think it would be worn about 180° from fanny pack position.
  • + 3
 @trialsracer: Fanny has a little different meaning in the UK.
  • + 1
 @h82crash: Which is...?
  • + 2
 @onek5: frontal lady part
  • + 2
 @onek5: front bottom
  • + 1
 @onek5: c*nt
  • + 26
 What an idiot. Everyone knows the Hightower is due an update.
  • + 13
 Wouldn't be able to use facial recognition after I've finished with him....
  • + 10
 Should have been a dead giveaway when he put a "Santacruz" on his baby daughter's gift registry.

registry.thebump.com/brenda-santacruz-anthony-negreary-june-2016/14322230
  • + 3
 I love the internet
tup
  • + 1
 this is amazing
  • + 8
 Spooky, I just wrote in another forum about one of my bikes being stolen a few years ago. The thief was never caught but my bike was discovered 3 years later after police raided a bike store in the same area, only half a mile from where my bike was taken. They discovered around 40 stolen bikes in the stores basement...
  • + 6
 We used to have to go out with customers on test rides. Over my few years in that particular store there were a couple of people tried to drop various staff members, but we never had someone get away. Fortunately we were all fit young guys.
With the value of bikes these days that’ll be felony larson surely. Nasty.

Flip side of the theft paranoia, I have had a car salesman throw me the keys to a $70k+ Yukon without him even asking my name. I waited for him to walk around and jump in the passenger side but he just smiled, said “have fun” and walked away... We bought the Yukon and since have bought two more vehicles from the same guy, so I guess his trust paid off!
  • + 16
 sweet humble brag.
  • + 6
 Nothing worse than a THIEF!!! Thanks to PINKBIKE I recovered my expensive MTB that was advertised on this site. They helped me with account info after he was spooked and took it off this site. I traced it back to a SCUMBAG PAWNSHOP that obviously purchased it from the thief ...than tried to sell it for large profit.THANKS again PINKBIKESmile
  • + 6
 Usually I dont wish people bad things but mr. Anthony, I sincerely hope you will drop a lot of soap at the place you are going!
  • + 8
 Unfortunately Mr. Anthony will live to steal more bikes due to California’s soft laws on theft and non violent crimes. But his name and face will get circulated and smart shop owners will kick him out before letting him take a bike
  • + 4
 @rivercitycycles:

This is very true. He maybe will do a day or 2 in jail, then be released, only to get a slap on the wrist from the judge, and most likey be right back to his old ways.
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles: one of the reasons I left California after spending the first 50 years of my life there. The place is a train wreck and getting worse. This guy should not be allowed back on the street.
  • + 3
 o -> O
  • + 1
 @endoguru: I've lived in CA for 48 years and hear this a lot. Where did you go and how exactly is it better?
  • + 5
 This guys is regular pos who deserves a lot of beating with hard stick. www.csun.edu/pubrels/press_releases/spring06/burglary.html
  • + 1
 @valhallascott: ...and he's reproducing also:

www.facebook.com/brenda.joh.s
  • + 7
 Hang him by the test-icles!
  • + 5
 I always laughed at ''facial recognition'' on cop shows and now I find out it's real.
  • + 5
 Oh it's real and in operation in a lot of places. In London this Christmas, along Oxford Street, they are scanning everybody and telling you they are doing it. But it's okay, they have promised they won't hold it against anyone if they are flagged because it's just "test".
Nothing to see here... Move along...
  • + 3
 I heard he had Taylor Swift pics plastered all over his bedroom
  • + 3
 @Dropthedebt: only a matter of time before they scan for 'hate thoughts' over there. i commiserate with you.
  • + 2
 Over there? Homeland security has hundreds of these cameras on highways across America.@mm732:
  • + 2
 @Lugers: facial recognition cameras on your highways ! Are you from the movie “ CARS “ ? Hehee
  • + 1
 It's so common where I live. The owner of a local shop (Colorado) said they were drinking a few beers inside the store and a guy backed his truck up to the front of the store to try and steal the bikes that were outside. He had no idea the shop owner and employees were there...unbelievable.
  • + 1
 But why did Ben Cox, the bike shop owner, have to compile a list of similar thefts in the Cali Counties? Guessing there was little interest from the police in pursuing a bike theft? also guessing there will be something like a relative slap on the wrist and release for the bloke responsible.
I get the impression (from what i understand it is the case here in Australia) that the police don't take bike theft as seriously as they should... Especially considering the retail value of some of these rigs, not to mention the value of any aftermarket upgrade an owner might do.
  • + 5
 Castration seems like a good punishment for bike thieves
  • + 1
 Heard a rumour that there was a dude in the Interior BC area dressing up like a canada post delivery guy and left his work ID and mail scanner device as proof of identity and made off with a bike on a test ride. Might be the same guy who stole my Thule T2 rack right off of my car 2 weeks ago. Glad they caught this guy in Cali.
  • + 3
 This just happened the same way in Poway a few months ago. I wonder if they're linked...

Edi: Called and let them know about it, just in case.
  • + 1
 I am good friends with Franze, hadn't even realized that this ever happened. He is such a genuinely good person and to hear something so horrible happened to him really just breaks my heart. He has helped me in so many ways This is an issue that needs parental reform too, its not just a prison issue.
  • + 1
 This is part of why very few bike shops in my area do demo bikes. Most of them might put pedals on for a parking lot bounce...
  • + 3
 A story with a happy ending! Later you scum bag!
  • + 2
 Imagine this guy using the thought process in this scheme towards something good. What a donkey.
  • + 3
 Could just beat the shit out of him? That sometimes works lol
  • + 2
 Even if you pay for it thats a steal $6600 for an xx1 build hightower?
  • + 1
 He just wanted a christmas gift.. As almost any other sweet human creature on planet..
  • + 1
 This is sad! A local shop had the same thing happen. I don’t think they ever got their Trek back Frown
  • + 1
 Duct tape them to a tree way out in the woods with a pair of scissors just out of reach.
  • + 1
 I wonder if this is the same guy that just hit a couple of San Diego shops as well.
  • + 2
 I called Poway bikes then commented on their Instagram post about it yesterday evening... they responded with "yes we are well aware. Our detective is working to connect with the arresting officers so it is handled as one case."

Sounds like it's the same scumbag.
  • + 2
 Interesting, the down votes here.............Hmmm
  • + 0
 Send him to the Philippines, their President will know what to with this lowlife!
  • + 0
 Dumb...shitty Ross puts theft tags on t-shirts. Put a RFID tag on it till it's sold, done.
  • + 1
 Do you mean gps?
  • + 1
 Really should be done for high end bikes. Not a bad idea to have some kind of GPS tag. Something that would disable it via wi-fi or bluetooth as long as its within the reach of the store, then it turns on if it goes too far away.
  • + 1
 @kmg0: Great theft protection built in. The customer could potentially have access to locate the bike if it's ever stolen in the future.
  • - 1
 Massive Shooting and Massive Bike Ride Test Theft Only a month and a mile away one from the other The Nation's third safes city title is gone for sure
  • + 1
 I wonder if he is a dentist.
  • + 1
 Keel him
  • + 1
 sry for dbl link post.
  • + 0
 The balls on this douche! Rot in hell u coward
  • + 1
 Book Him, Dano!

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