Council candidate tips police on suspected bike thief

Costa Mesa City Council candidate Sue Lester helped foil a burglary over the weekend when she watched a man allegedly try to steal a pair of bicycles, police said.

Lester said she was walking her dog in the 1500 block of East Mesa Verde Drive on Saturday afternoon when she saw a man surveying an apartment complex as he aimlessly walked through.

Then he stopped under a stairwell and started tugging on two bicycles chained there, she said.

“I was literally watching him from across the street doing this,” she said.

Lester said the man spotted her as she was talking on the phone with police, so he walked off.

Police said using her description, they were able to quickly find their man.

Costa Mesa resident Kacey Strought, 28, was arrested on suspicion of theft and vandalism in relation to the incident.

Lester said the man she followed cut the chains on the bikes that he was about to steal.

She said she hopes the incident is an example of how residents can help fight crime.

“Whatever you need to do to help,” she said. “If that means following someone for 10 minutes or watching for an extra second to see what happens or writing what someone looks like and what they’re doing, that’s what we should do.”

— Joseph Serna

Twitter: @JosephSerna