After a string of bicycle thefts in the Willows neighborhood in Menlo Park and nearby areas, detectives with the Menlo Park Narcotics Enforcement team arrested a man and a woman Tuesday, Jan. 31, in East Palo Alto and booked them on multiple charges, including possession of stolen bicycles.
The arrests followed a brief police chase when a pickup truck under pursuit struck another vehicle, but there were no injuries, police said.
In the past several weeks, multiple bike thefts have been reported in Menlo Park, East Palo Alto and Palo Alto.
On Monday night, Jan. 30, home video cameras recorded images of a woman in a silver Nissan Frontier pickup truck stealing bikes in the Willows neighborhood, Menlo Park Police Commander Dave Bertini said.
The next day, a vehicle matching that description approached a home in East Palo Alto that was under police surveillance, and officers activated their lights and sirens to stop the truck at Runnymede and Clarke streets.
The truck drove off, getting about a block before hitting another car, Cmdr. Bertini said. Two men in the truck fled on foot, police said. One was caught near the truck; the other jumped several fences and made it about three blocks before being captured around the 2100 block of Capitol Avenue in East Palo Alto, police said.
The truck was later determined to be stolen from San Jose, police said.
The woman suspect was arrested near the East Palo Alto residence, where six bikes were recovered, Cmdr. Bertini said.
Jonathan Vega, 25, and Miriam Taimani, 32, both of East Palo Alto, were arrested and booked into the San Mateo County jail. Mr. Vega was booked on possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless evading, vandalism and resisting arrest. Ms. Taimani was booked on possession of methamphetamines, drug indicia, and stolen mail, bikes and other property.
A third suspect, John Palavi, 53, of East Palo Alto, was cited for a suspended license and resisting arrest, and released.
Residents are advised not to leave bikes unlocked in backyards or side yards, Cmdr. Bertini said.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Menlo Park police at (650) 330-6300 or an anonymous tip line at (650) 330-6395.