Long Beach, CA — On Tuesday, a pair of alleged bicycle thieves were charged with grand theft in Long Beach. The suspects, Timothy Lewis, 51, and Joseph Griffin, 49, were taken into custody on Saturday following a sting operation near Belmont Pier.
Several businesses and community members had raised concerns about the number of bike thefts in the area, leading to an investigation by the Long Beach PD. On the day of the sting, investigators used a cable and padlock to secure a bicycle to a lamppost at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and Termino Avenue. They observed as the suspects rode up to the decoy on a pair of bicycles. Lewis was also reportedly rolling a third bicycle alongside his own.
Detectives report that Lewis briefly left the area and returned on foot. According to the police, Griffin then acted as a lookout while Lewis cut the cable and rode the decoy bicycle away from the scene. Both Griffin and Lewis were arrested shortly afterwards, Lewis is said to have had a pair of cable cutters on his person at the time of his arrest.
Police now believe that the three bicycles in Lewis and Griffin’s possession were stolen, and officers also discovered several more bicycles underneath the pier. However, it is not certain whether these bicycles were also stolen.
In California, grand theft is defined as stealing cash or property valued at more than $950. Though not punished as severely as more violent offenses, a conviction for felony grand theft can still result in years in prison. Fortunately, there are a number of different strategies that can be used to have theft charges reduced or dismissed in Southern California courts.
Theft charges can result from misunderstandings. In some cases, a defendant can prove that either they did not intend to steal something or that the owner had consented for them to take it. In other cases, defendants have been accused of stealing property that they themselves owned. No matter what the specifics of your case are, the best move you can make when preparing a criminal defense is to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.
At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’ve been defending clients against charges like theft, fraud, sexual assault, murder, armed robbery, domestic violence, and conspiracy for more than 16 years. In that time period, we’ve built up an impressive record of having the charges against our clients reduced or dismissed. We work together with our clients to ensure that everyone who hires us receives the best possible defense against all kinds of criminal charges.
At our firm, we know how difficult it can be to face criminal charges, which is why our staff is available to help you 24/7. No matter what the developments in your case are, you still have to attend to your responsibilities at home and at work. We understand this and will work with you to ensure that the process isn’t more intrusive than it needs to be.
One of the best parts of practicing law in and around Orange County is the opportunity to interact with the diverse local community. Having offices in Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Irvine, and Newport Beach allows us to better serve the area’s major population centers and court districts. As part of our commitment to providing the best possible service to our clients, we are proud to offer foreign language assistance as needed.
So if you’ve been charged with a crime in Southern California, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation.
Edwards, Andrew. “Long Beach Police arrest two suspect of grand theft bicycle.” http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20150415/long-beach-police-arrest-two-suspected-of-grand-theft-bicycle. Long Beach Press-Telegram. 15 April 2015.