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Suspects reportedly used blow torch to steal bike, police say

Two Huntington Beach men were arrested on suspicion of bike theft Wednesday afternoon, police said.

A witness observed two men attempting to steal a locked-up bike near the beach service road in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and 13th Street at about 1 p.m., said Jennifer Marlatt, spokeswoman for the Huntington Beach Police Department.

One man appeared to be using a blow torch to cut off the bike’s lock while the other man acted as a lookout, Marlatt said.

Officers working beach patrol responded and arrested the men, she said.

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Michael Thomas Fardette, 49, of Huntington Beach was arrested on suspicion of petty bike theft, possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, conspiracy to commit a crime and possession of burglary tools, Marlatt said.

Andrew Scott Jones, 30, also of Huntington Beach, was arrested for petty bike theft, possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit a crime, according to the report.

Marlatt said bike theft is a big problem in Huntington Beach, especially in the summer, since many people ride to and from the downtown area, as well as along the beach, bike paths and Pacific Coast Highway.

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“It is a source of transportation for many,” she said. “Bikes are taken from all over the city.”

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Brittany Woolsey, brittany.woolsey@latimes.com

Twitter: @BrittanyWoolsey

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