PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Punta Gorda Police Detectives arrested a second suspect yesterday regarding recent thefts of bicycles. A 13-year-old from Fort Myers and a 15-year-old from Port Charlotte were found to have been responsible for the latest thefts of two city-owned bicycles.
Charlotte County deputies responded to a call near Kings Highway of someone recognizing the city-owned bikes, several days after the thefts. At the time, the deputies were not able to link the juveniles to the thefts, however, the bikes were returned to the City.
During the thefts, in early October 2013, the suspects removed signs that were attached to the bikes belonging to City of Punta Gorda’s Loaner Bicycle program. While taking the original theft report, the Punta Gorda Police Officer gathered the signs as evidence and submitted them to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for latent print analysis. The department received a hit confirmation that one of the prints belonged to one of the juveniles that the deputy located with the bikes.
The police department continues to track down suspects responsible for the recent rash of bicycle thefts in the bike-friendly community and anticipate future arrests on current pending cases. Police detectives have made four arrests in 2014 for theft of bicycles, with more anticipated.
Both teens were charged with Grand Theft.