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2 Bay Area burglary suspects lead Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies on chase through Aptos – The Mercury News

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SANTA CRUZ — Two men were arrested after allegedly stealing from a local bike shop, but not before leading officers on a high speed pursuit through Aptos.

Kevin Devlin, 36, from San Carlos and Marcell Clark, 35, from Santa Clara were arrested and booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of commercial burglary and other charges.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office reported that an alert resident called dispatch just after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday after watching two men break into Family Cycling Center on 41st Avenue.

Surveillance video footage, posted on the Sheriff’s Facebook page, shows the rented van pulling up to the front of the store, and one of the suspects using a crowbar-type tool to smash a front window. Once inside, the two suspects, one wearing a bandanna over half of his face, are seen grabbing the bikes and quickly taking them outside through the broken window.

“As you can see it was brazen activity,” said Sheriff’s Sgt. Dee Baldwin, noting that there is traffic driving by on 41st Avenue.

The suspects made off with several expensive mountain bikes worth more than $5,000 each.

Baldwin explained that several deputies responded to the scene to secure the store. While driving down 41st Avenue, one deputy noticed a vehicle matching the description of the rented van and attempted to make a traffic stop as it pulled onto the highway, however, it took off. Traveling at speeds of more than 90 mph and with the help of CHP, Sheriff’s deputies followed the van that eventually exited at Rio Del Mar Boulevard toward Polo Grounds Park.

The van rammed through a fence onto the game field, Dee said, but deputies did not follow. They eventually spotted the van near the 2600 block of Huntington Drive with only four bikes inside. An additional two bikes were dumped in the area and the men were located trying to hide in nearby bushes.

The owner and general manager of Family Cycling Center were out of town during the incident, according to Kristen Romero who answered the store’s phone Thursday afternoon.

Romero, who was notified of the incident first thing in the morning, arrived at work to Sheriff’s deputies out front and a bike sitting just outside the broken window where there was glass shattered.

“It was a shock to see that this morning,” she said. “They were high-end bikes so it’s has a good outcome.”

Romero, who has worked at the bike shop for more than seven years, said this isn’t the first time the store has been robbed, but it is the first time the bikes have been recovered.

“We’re super thankful this hasn’t happened during business hours,” she said and added that she’s also thankful for the person who called it in. “It’s a huge thanks to her, if it weren’t for her, it would have been a different outcome.”

Dee said a CHP officer was injured during the pursuit, but did not elaborate on specific injuries. However, the officer was treated and expected to be released from the hospital Thursday.

The Sheriff’s Office noted that this incident is another reminder of the importance of reporting suspicious activity.

In an emergency, call 911. The Sheriff’s tip line is 831-454-7631.

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