Prolific bike thief arrested again in San Francisco

Saturday, June 7, 2014
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Shawn Sixta has pleaded not guilty to charges of residential burglary and possession of burglary tools.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The man that San Francisco police say is one of the biggest serial bike thieves they've seen in a long time was arrested this week and charged with trying to steal even more bikes. Shawn Sixta pleaded not guilty to charges of residential burglary and possession of burglary tools.

The prolific bicycle thief is a familiar face to San Francisco cops. Officer Matt Friedman is the department's expert on bike thefts. He knows him better than anyone.

"He's a serial bike thief," Friedman said. "He makes his living breaking into garages and stealing bikes."

Police say Sixta has been arrested 20-30 times. He was on probation for bike theft at the time he was arrested.

Sixta was caught again three days ago in an apartment building on the 2000 block of Bryant Street.

A security camera captured him as he jimmied the lock of the front entrance door. He then see's the electrical panel on the wall. The intruder appears to be trying to disarm the alarms and perhaps open other doors. He then takes the elevator down to the garage.

"To the garages, which is where criminals like to go because there are lots more valuable items and less people walking around," Travis Engelman of Aclarity Systems, the security alarm company, said.

Another camera catches Sixta again -- this time inside the garage. He now appears to have two bicycles and some bike wheels, which you can see in the corner of the video. Sixta tries to open the garage gate. All the while, the security company is monitoring Sixta's activities from its office control center. They disaptch their own security guards, who take him into custody and call police.

Now the question is, will Sixta be back on the streets again soon?

"We'll charge felonies, we'll charge what we need to charge within the appropriateness of the law but then we find these guys out on the street a week later," Friedman said.

But this time may be different. The charge of breaking into a residential property is a serious felony.

"We want the court to understand we're very serious about this case," District Attorney George Gascon said. "We have grave concerns and we're hoping the court will see it our way and there will be severe consequences in this case."

The judge imposed a bail of $350,000.