Sheriff’s Department seeks owners of bikes found in tunnel near homeless camp

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is encouraging owners of stolen bicycles to inquire about whether they were among more than 1,000 bikes found this month in a tunnel near a former homeless camp next to the Santa Ana River.

The bikes were found south of the river’s Fairview Street overpass. It appears that a majority of them are beyond repair because they’re heavily damaged or stripped of parts, the department said.

Crews at a storage yard are working to determine which bikes are salvageable.

Anyone whose bike was stolen can send a description of it along with its serial number and an associated police report number to

Authorities said there were signs that someone lived in the area where the bikes were found, but they haven’t identified the person or how and why the bikes were obtained.

Lt. Jeff Puckett said the Sheriff’s Department has made more than 260 arrests in the past several months at various encampments along the river in connection with crimes such as robbery, assault and trespassing.

DANIEL LANGHORNE is a contributor to Times Community News.