Surveillance cameras, social media lead to bike theft arrest


Huntington Beach police on Monday arrested a man suspected of stealing a bicycle after a resident identified him from photos posted on social media.

Police posted a video still on the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages to solicit the public’s help to find the man who stole a mountain bike from a walkway off Main Street on Sunday, said Lt. Mitch O’Brien.

The video still was captured by one of the department’s downtown surveillance cameras, which were installed earlier this year.

A resident called police at about 8 p.m. on Monday to report a man matching the photo was walking near the bike racks underneath the pier.

Police contacted the man and arrested him in connection with the Main Street bike theft.
Marco Antonio Hernandez, 37, of Santa Ana, was arrested under suspicion of grand theft and a felony probation violation.

This is the third bike theft arrest police have made with the help of its surveillance cameras, O’Brien said.

Social media has also served as an important resource, aiding police in a variety of cases including other thefts, vandalism and sexual predator investigations.

“With the cameras, we’re posting all the photos online so it’s a tremendous tool for us,” O’Brien said. “Social media is also playing in our favor, and we get a lot more calls.”

Police on June 12 shared a video still on its Facebook and Twitter pages of a man stealing a bike in downtown. The man was arrested shortly after the theft.

Another bike thief caught on film was arrested June 17 after taking a bicycle near Main and Olive streets.

Police are still looking for a man and a woman caught on camera last month stealing a bike near Main and Olive streets.

The bike was later found, but officers are still looking for the suspects. The man was wearing dark clothing, a red hat and carrying a backpack; he was with a woman in dark pants and a pink shirt.

Anyone with information can call 714-960-8825.

If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS (855-847- 6227). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “OCCS.”