Crime fighter



A former Santa Ana College student and her 16-year- old son were arrested late July on suspicion of a bicycle theft after newly installed cameras next to the U-building captured them on video.

The mother and son were arrested in their home days later by Santa Ana police. A 17-year-old accomplice was also arrested.

“By posting pictures on the buildings, my goal is to have someone look at the pictures, know the person, and call us.” Lt. James Wooley, supervisor of district safety and security, said.

“We have video signs up saying ‘you’re being recorded’ where the bikes were stolen, and they still stole the bikes.”

The district-wide security upgrade cost $3 million and was made possible through separate district finance Capital Projects Fund. About $1 million was spent on SAC alone, said Peter Hardash, vice chancellor of business operations/fiscal services.

“Eventually, the ‘bad guys’ will know that the campus has high definition surveillance systems and they will go elsewhere to commit their crimes,” Hardash said.

Because SAC has the highest population among six district campuses, and in response to a rash of blatant bike thefts, Santa Ana was the first to receive installation of the new digital camera system.

The 2010 crime statistic reports 32 incidents of larceny from vehicles, two robberies, two burglaries and six grand thefts.

Throughout campus, about 150 cameras have been installed and 50 more will be added in all entrance and exit points.

“Once those are up I’ll be able to get every license plate on every car that comes on this campus,” Wooley said.

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The surveillance project is expected to be complete in September.

Over summer, four suspects were caught on camera stealing bikes on campus. They remain unidentified and at large.

The incident report involving the 16-year-old states it started by the parking lot 11 close to 5 p.m. on July 24.

Two suspects were seen on camera taking two out of three bicycles that were locked on the west side of the U-building.

The two boys were then seen riding off towards a green four-door Honda that was driven by a female driver.

About 3:30 p.m. the next day, campus security spotted the green Honda. It gave the investigating officer a chance to write down the license plate, which was then handed to the police.

CORRECTION: The original story, “College installs new cameras” published Monday, August 27, 2012, reported that the District spent $9 million on the surveillance system. The district in fact spent $3 million, said Peter Hardash, vice chancellor of business operations and fiscal services.

Montage of three photos where suspects were caught stealing bicycles on SAC campus. Photo-1: A male suspect wearing black baseball cap with backpack on his back walking away with a stolen bicycle. Photo-2:  A male and a female bicycle thief's rode away in stolen bicycles. Photo-3: A male bicycle thief suspect walking along a role of parked bicycles.

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