Homeless probationer detained after theft spree in Santa Clarita

Deputies detain a man suspected of committing grand theft in Valencia on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Austin Dave/The Signal

A homeless man was taken into custody near Circle J Ranch Thursday afternoon after allegedly committing a spree of theft related crimes.

The 26-year-old man’s series of offenses began at about 9 a.m. in the Valencia Central Valley community east of Granary Square, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman Shirley Miller confirmed.

The man entered the backyard of a home and took a $1,500 mountain bike. The homeowner caught a glimpse of the man, went outside and began shouting.

Rattled by the resident, the suspect ditched the bike and took off on foot along the riverbed west of Railroad Avenue between Drayton Street and the Via Princessa overcrossing.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s station units immediately surrounded the area and set up a containment with a goal of corralling the man into custody.

About an hour later, suspicious activity was reported near Circle J Ranch. A man matching the suspect’s description was seen tampering with car door handles in the area.

If that wasn’t enough to meet the suspect’s crime quota, another resident saw the man carrying a package containing new solar pathway lights down the street.

A resident on a bike hit the trail and tracked him onto Railroad Avenue. Another caller located the man under the Via Princessa bridge over Railroad Avenue.

Deputies detained the man without incident at about noon. Miller said the man, who was already on probation for theft now faces grand theft and tampering with vehicles charges.

The spokeswoman thanked the network of people who worked with law enforcement to ensure the man was captured.

Miller also encourages those who see something suspicious to contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at 661-255-1121.

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