Authorities say they have made numerous arrests in an effort to combat the spike in bicycle thefts in Arlington County.
One man, 42-year-old Michael Cullen, of no fixed address, this month was handed a 12-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to eight counts of grand larceny with intent to sell and one count of possession of burglarious tools. Four years will be shaved off if restitution is paid, according to a news release.
“In Arlington, we have the ability to prosecute all types of cases,” Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos said in a statement. “Protecting the property of residents is of the upmost importance and thieves such as Michael Cullen will be prosecuted to the fullest.”
In July, 67 bicycles were reported stolen — the highest number of incidents reported in a single month in the past three years by 21 cases.
Between June 1 and Aug. 5, a total of 126 bicycles were reported stolen — a combined loss of $98,127, according to a graphic police are distributing.
Most bikes are stolen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Most thefts occur on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and Clarendon is the No. 1 area where bikes are likely to be stolen, according to police.
Arlington police have been working with law enforcement in neighboring jurisdictions to combat the trend.
The arrests in Arlington, according to a news release, include:
Aldrick Johnson, who pleaded guilty to two charges and was sentenced to four years, three suspended. Police say he was observed on video trying to break into an apartment building.
Ositafimma Emegbuism, Johnson’s co-defendant, pleaded guilty to unlawful entry and received six months.
John Sears was apprehended after a resident observed him tampering with a bicycle inside of a parking garage, according to police. Investigators found Sears with a stolen bicycle in his possession not far from the incident. Warrants for numerous charges have been obtained, police say.
Irvin Coleman was identified as a suspect in multiple bike thefts in Arlington, Fairfax, and Alexandria after pawning multiple bikes on separate occasions. Police charged him in connection with a bike theft incident at Ballston Common Mall. He eluded authorities for some time but has now been arrested. Coleman is being held in Fairfax on no bond. His first court appearance for his Arlington charges is Thursday.
Howard Montgomery was stopped after an officer observed him riding one bike while rolling a second beside him, according to police. He admitted that the bikes did not belong to him, investigators say. Indictments are pending.
Five juveniles involved with bike thefts from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria have been identified and prosecuted. Four have been sentenced so far, according to police.