Crime - Sacto 911

Another bait bike theft, another arrest, Sacramento police say

Sean Trussell
Sean Trussell Sacramento Police Bike Unit

Sacramento police responding to the theft of one of the department’s “bait bikes” Friday afternoon arrested a suspect with a criminal record that dates back to 2008 and includes arrests for assault with a deadly weapon, battery, theft and robbery.

Sean Patrick Trussell, 33, was arrested at 12:57 p.m. in the 1300 block of 20th Street after being alerted to the theft of a bait bike, which police place at various locations and are equipped with hidden electronic tracking devices.

“Officers quickly arrived on scene, made contact with four subjects, and also located the bike’s lock, which had been cut off, and the stolen bike,” according to a report posted on the department’s daily activity log. “Officers determined that one of the subjects, Sean Trussell, 33, was responsible for the theft. He was arrested for theft, possession of stolen property, and violation of probation.”

Typically, an arrest for bike theft will not garner much time in custody, and the charges against Trussell involving theft and stolen property are listed on the Sacramento County jail website as worthy of $1,000 bail.

But Trussell is being held without bail because of the probation violation, and online records from Sacramento Superior Court name him in six felony and two misdemeanor cases, with at least one sentence of three years in state prison.

Friday’s arrest, one of two reported in midtown this week linked to bait bikes, is the latest authorities have announced in connection with the program, which officials have lauded as helping to drive down bicycle theft dramatically in the past year. On Monday, Jason Knight, 34, was arrested at 18th and K streets on suspicion of probation violation and possession of stolen property and burglary tools, police said.

In separate cases on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, police arrested two men accused of stealing bait bikes parked in midtown.

The first was stolen near Capitol Avenue and 30th Street and resulted in the arrest of a 33-year-old man at Alhambra Boulevard and N Street who police said had burglary tools and stolen property. Court records show he pleaded no contest to theft Dec. 30 and was sentenced to 180 days with the sheriff’s work project.

In the Christmas Eve case, officers responding to the theft of a bait bike arrested a 49-year-old man at 27th and N streets. He also pleaded no contest to theft and was given a 60-day sentence on Dec. 29, records state.

Authorities say that by August of last year, the bait bike program had resulted in more than 50 arrests and that bicycle theft had dropped 25 percent at that time.

The program involves placing four bait bikes in random spots at different times in midtown and locking them up, then waiting for their built-in GPS systems to alert officers that one has been taken.

Last month, police said they were enhancing the program by handing out stickers to bike shops that read, “Is this a bait bike?” The stickers also note that the bike is registered with police.

Sacramento police offer an online service for individuals to register their bikes and enhance the chances of recovering a stolen bike. Registration is available at rideon.sacpd.org.

Tips on how to prevent bike theft, including choosing a proper lock and using it effectively, are available from Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates at sacbike.org.

Call The Bee’s Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.

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