Real follow through on this community member’s part, as the witness then delivered the photo of the suspect to SCPD. Using the photograph taken by the witness, officers were able to identify the suspect as John Walkenbach, a 44-year-old transient from Santa Cruz.
The next day, SCPD located the suspect, John Walkenbach, riding a different bicycle in the same area where the first theft occurred. SCPD arrested Mr. Walkenbach for grand theft.
Bike #2- During the arrest of suspect Walkenbach for stolen Bike #1, another witness unrelated to the first case approached SCPD officers. The witness asked if SCPD had seen a red-colored, stolen $3000 Specialized Epic brand bicycle. As it turns out, a Santa Cruz Park Ranger who was at the scene recently found that very same bike abandoned in the bushes near San Lorenzo Park.
SCPD Officers continued to track down the stolen Bike #1 and interviewed associates of the suspect. Friends of the suspect were able to recover the stolen bicycle and returned it to the Police Department.
Bike #1 and Bike #2 got returned to the proper owners without delay.
Thank you to everyone who pitched in and did the right thing. The owners of both the bikes rely on them for everyday transportation.
The Santa Cruz Police Department continues to encourage everyone to be partners in public safety. Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department at (831) 420-5820 or Anonymous Tip Line (831) 420-5995. www.santacruzpolice.com