SANTA FE – Police may have broken up a burgeoning bicycle theft ring when they nabbed three alleged crooks with several high-end bikes taken from a downtown Santa Fe shop Tuesday morning.
The break-in was similar to a burglary at another Santa Fe shop where expensive bikes were also stolen Dec. 19. Police department investigators hadn’t confirmed Wednesday if the two heists were related. But one of the men arrested Tuesday did tell police he’d participated in a previous bike-shop heist, according to a police report.
Carlos Trejo-Villalobos, 44, Carlos Navarrete-May, 31, and 30-year-old David Perez were booked into the county jail Tuesday morning for larceny over $20,000, burglary, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit a felony after they were caught with several bikes and tires worth about $32,000 missing from the Mellow Velo bike shop on East Marcy Street.
According to a criminal complaint, officers responded to an alarm at Mellow Velo about 3:50 a.m. A witness told dispatchers that she saw three men outside the shop load bikes into a van and drive off. When police arrived they noticed that the front door was removed from the hinges and several bicycles and miscellaneous parts were in disarray inside. Meanwhile, an officer pulled over a Ford Windstar near Paseo de Peralta and St. Francis Drive for speeding and found three men in the van with several bicycles in the back. The men – later identified as Trejo-Villalobos, Navarrete-May and Perez – were placed in investigative detention.
Seven bikes bearing Santa Cruz or Haro brands, with prices ranging from just over $1,000 to $5,000, were recovered from the van. Eight stolen bike tires and tools used for cutting metal were also found.
While waiting to be interviewed, Trejo-Villalobos told police, “I have only done this twice. The driver (Navarrete-May), he paid me $200 last time at a different bicycle shop here in Santa Fe, I don’t know why I did this,” according to a police report. Officers found small tools, a black face mask and a receipt from an Albuquerque pawn shop for bolt cutters on Trejo-Villalobos when he was arrested.
On Dec. 19, officers responded to an alarm at the Broken Spoke bike shop on Cerrillos across from the Santa Fe Indian School at 2:23 a.m. and discovered that the front door had been taken off the hinges and some bicycles were missing. The shop owner later said four bikes worth a total of $19,589 were taken.