Two bike thieves who police said possessed burglary tools, a stun gun and crystal meth, were arrested in College Terrace on Sunday morning after officers spotted their SUV parked at a Jack in the Box on El Camino Real.
Police began scouring the College Terrace neighborhood for the bike thieves after receiving a 10:23 a.m. phone call from a resident who spotted a man and a woman stealing a bicycle from a neighbor's house on the 2300 block of Wellesley Street, between College and California avenues. The thieves reportedly removed the bike, which was locked to itself, from the home's carport.
The caller told the police that the vehicle, a 1999 GMC Jimmy, already had another bike on its roof and provided the Jimmy's license-plate number.
Three minutes after the call, police spotted the suspects' Jimmy parked in a lot on Jack in the Box. It was unoccupied and there were no bikes on its roof, according to the police. Minutes later, they saw the woman, later identified as Deborah Alley Gerkin, walking out of the Jack in the Box bathroom. They detained her.
At around the same time, an officer in a different police cruiser spotted the male suspect with two bicycles on the 500 block of College Avenue. One of them, police said, was the bike stolen from the Wellesley Street home; the other one was identified as having been stolen earlier that morning from a locked shed of a Yale Street home. Both bikes were returned to their rightful owners, police said.
The bikes weren't the only suspicious item the police found on the two suspects. Inside the vehicle, officers found crystal methamphetamine, a stun gun and a bag of burglary tools.
Police arrested Gerkin, 46, and Roberty Solorzano-Rodriguez on two counts of felony burglary, a count of felony narcotic possession for sales and a count of felony conspiracy. They were also charged with three misdemeanors for possession of burglary tools, illegal possession of a stun gun and being under the influence of narcotics, respectively. Gerkin was also booked for transporting narcotics, a felony, while Solorzano-Rodriguez was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
In their announcement, police lauded the neighbor for quickly calling 9-1-1 and reporting the burglary. The timely notification and the calling party's ability to quickly jot down the license plate of the Jimmy was "a major help to this investigation," police said. Officers also recommend that residents lock their bikes to stationary objects, not just wheel to frame.
Anyone with information about these incidents or suspects is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.