Tutor at Santa Ana College Helps Apprehend Would-Be Bike Thief

Police detained a 34-year-old man after he unsuccessfully tried to steal a bike at Santa Ana College, officials said.

Sergio Sierra was arrested on suspicion of attempted petty theft, trespassing and vandalism across the street from the campus after a tutor at the school saw him using bolt cutters near the bike rack, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

The tutor, Ruben Mata, was walking by the bike racks around 9:30 a.m. and saw a suspicious man, he said.

"I guess what caught my attention was he just kept looking around and he was taking an unusually long time trying to find his keys from his bag," Mata told KTLA. "I mean, no one takes that long looking for his keys unless it's not yours."

Mata went into his office, adjacent to the bike racks, and from a window saw the man begin to use bolt cutters on the locks.

Once he realized what was happening, Mata began waving his arms and yelling in an attempt to draw attention to the situation.

"I'm trying to find a (campus) security officer, and that's why you'll see me on the video jumping around," Mata said.

No officer responded, but Mata's action was apparently enough to make the man walk off without the bike.

Once Mata was able to make contact with campus police, he supplied them with video evidence and accompanied them on their search for Sierra, who was located across the street from the campus.

Bike thefts have been a problem at the college recently, Bertagna said.