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Santa Maria Police Department: "bait bike"

SMPD put on an operation as a result of increased vehicle burglaries
Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 01, 2023

On Jan. 31st, the Santa Maria Police Department conducted a "bait bike" operation as a result of increased vehicle burglary thefts at local hotels.

You may be wondering..why a bike?

According to the police department, a bicycle was placed under a lock in the bed of a truck as a trap to lure thieves into taking time to get it free.

This was at Holiday Inn at 2100 N. Broadway.

At approximately 6 a.m., two subjects approached the vehicle and tried to cut the lock off and take the bike...just as the police dept. had planned.

When officers approached, the two took off running right across Highway 101.

One was caught, arrested, and booked for attempted grand theft auto. He was identified as Alejandro Ayala, a 41-year-old who lived in Santa Maria.

Officers are still looking for the second subject, identified as 29-year-old Ryan James Leon.

If anyone has information or knows his whereabouts, it is asked that you contact Officer Jesus Caro at (805)928-3781 ext. 1304.