Thieves use bolt cutters to steal bikes at hotel

Posted at 10:40 AM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 13:40:01-04

SAN DIEGO -- The manager of a local residence hotel is fed up with crooks stealing his tenants' bikes.

Ralph Jaime works at Hotel Occidental on Elm Street in Bankers Hill. He says at least 14 bikes have been stolen here since 2012.

"It's like every night, we are accosted, someone comes over the fence," said Jaime.

It happened again early Monday morning.

"They come over the fence, the last one last night, hopped over the fence and let his buddies in," said Jaime.

He said the owner of the hotel is doing all he can to protect the property and the belongings of the people who stay there.

Several surveillance cameras are pointed at the area where the bikes are locked. A code is required to enter through the front door and there is barbed wire and a gate surrounding the parking lot where the bikes are kept.

"They come around 4:30, with backpacks full of tools to steal stuff."

Surveillance cameras show two thieves wearing sunglasses, a hat and shorts. One jumps over the fence and then lets in his partner. 

"He came in with bolt cutters and took him about one minute to cut it, but he got through it," said Jaime.

The bike was equipped with a steel U lock, but that didn't stop the guy from getting what he wanted.

Jaime said he's worried about what will happen if someone interrupts a thief in progress.

"I've had them stealing a bike. You know with a rock, looking to throw it at a person that comes out, these people are really dangerous," said Jaime.

Jason Smith owns the bike that was stolen. Smith told 10News he assumed it would be safe locked up and under lights and cameras. Smith said the bike is a roughly $2,000 Cannondale Mountain Bike.

"It'll be frustrating you know, it's a recreational bike, but I just enjoy getting outside of town, out in the countryside," said Smith, who has a good attitude about what happened.

"Maybe someone needs it more than I do," said Smith.