Man helps cops collar bike thief

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – After having his specialized, belt-driven $1,200 Trek Soho hybrid bicycle stolen from his yard, a Safford man went on the prowl, eventually located a suspect riding his property.

An officer was initially dispatched at about 6:57 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, to a residence in the 800 block of W. 11th Street regarding the theft of the bicycle as well as the theft of the victim’s daughter’s bicycle. The victim stated both bikes had been stolen from his yard. His daughter’s bike was also a Trek and was a pink, 20-inch girls model that he purchased for $250.

Later that same day, the victim called the police and alerted them that he had spotted a woman riding his bicycle and that he was following her.

By the time an officer made it to the victim’s location, the suspect had realized she was being followed and had ditched the bike and fled on foot walking westbound on 7th Street. The officer soon caught up with the suspect, later identified as Krystal Espinoza, and took her into custody. During the interaction, Espinoza allegedly resisted being arrested and the officer was forced to take Espinoza to the ground to handcuff her, according to the report.

After initially saying she had borrowed the bike from a friend, Espinoza allegedly said she her boyfriend had the bike at the Economy Inn and he let her borrow it. She said the pink girl’s bike was also at the motel when she left.

An officer responded to the motel but could not locate the pink bicycle. While there, he interviewed Espinoza’s boyfriend, who said the couple had a fight the previous night and Espinoza returned in the morning with the hybrid bike.

Upon being told the pink bicycle was not at the motel, Espinoza allegedly told an officer that she thought she could get the bicycle back. The officer decided to release Espinoza so she could attempt to locate the pink bicycle and send the report to the Graham County Attorney’s Office for review and formal charging. As of Saturday, the pink bike had not been located.