As reported by Bicycle Retaile
r, 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.