Crime - Sacto 911

Suspected serial bike thieves arrested by Sac State police

Tami Graham was arrested on suspicion of knowingly buying or receiving stolen property and grand theft, as well as methamphetamine possession and camping on public property.
Tami Graham was arrested on suspicion of knowingly buying or receiving stolen property and grand theft, as well as methamphetamine possession and camping on public property. Sacramento State Police Department

Sacramento State police arrested two transients suspected of stealing dozens of bicycles from campus over the past several months, the department announced Monday.

A student locking her bike on Oct. 27 spotted Luther Rhiney, 50, and Tami Graham, 27. When the student returned to find her bike missing, she described the two suspicious characters to Sacramento State Police Department officers.

Police arrested Rhiney and Graham after seeing Graham riding the stolen bicycle on surveillance footage the next day. Graham later led officers to their encampment near the Guy West Bridge, where she and Rhiney had six other stolen bikes waiting to be sold, according to Detective Jason Johnston.

When first asked how many bicycles she and Rhiney had stolen from Sacramento State over the last few months, Graham told police that the number was too high to count. Then, she estimated 20. She admitted to stealing another bike from campus on Oct. 27, according to police, but said it had been sold to an unidentified person downtown.

Police have returned two of the seven bikes found at the encampment to their rightful owners, Johnston said. Recent theft victims are encouraged to contact the police to see if their missing vehicles match any of those recovered. Johnston said the bikes that police found likely were stolen in the last three weeks.

“It’s a constant problem,” Johnston said. “Some months we can have as many as 20 or more (bike thefts).”

Rhiney was arrested on felony charges of knowingly buying or receiving stolen property and grand theft, as well as a misdemeanor count of possession of burglar’s tools for having two large cable cutters. He was arrested for stealing bicycles twice before in January 2012 and August 2012. His bail is set at $60,000.

Graham was booked on the same felony charges plus methamphetamine possession and unlawful camping on public property. She remains in custody on $25,000 bail.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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