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Man allegedly tries to steal bike outside court after appearance

July 21, 2011 |  7:37 am

Authorities arrested a man who allegedly stole a bicycle outside the El Monte courthouse moments after he appeared inside on a charge of carrying an open alcohol container.

A mail carrier allegedly saw Hector Pineda, 45, destroying wrought-iron fencing in an attempt to remove the locked bike, and the postal worker alerted a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s security officer, said El Monte court Sgt. Ron Williams.

Security Officer Robert Sokolik responded and detained the suspected bike thief as he was walking the bike down the parking structure ramp leading to street level, Williams said.

Initially, Pineda reportedly tried to convince deputies he owned the bike and had forgotten the key to his padlock.

But a Covina resident appeared a short time later and identified his bike, saying it was his only means of transportation, Williams said.

Because the victim was an unemployed welder, he asked if he could bid on the repair job that will be needed to fix the wrought-iron fence. No word on the answer.

Pineda was booked at the El Monte Police Station on suspicion of felony vandalism and petty theft.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Shadow of a bicyclist and rider. Credit: Laurent Cipriani / Associated Press.