Within an hour, two stolen bicycles were located and returned to two boys who had leaned them against the side of Target store off Owen Road while they shopped Thursday, July 8.
The suspect, Joel Luis Valles, 35, of Linden, faces multiple counts in Genesee County 67th District Court. He was arraigned July 12 on two counts of larceny, as well as felon in possession of a weapon, felony weapons, possession of a loaded weapon, and carrying a concealed weapon with no license. A cash surety bond of $70,000 was ordered and he remains lodged in the Genesee County Jail. A probable cause conference is scheduled for July 22 at 1 p.m.
Sgt. Dan Forbush of the Fenton Police Department said Fenton police were dispatched to the store at 6:10 p.m. after receiving a call from a loss prevention officer.
When the boys realized their bikes were gone, Forbush said they went back in to tell an employee. The loss prevention officer viewed the surveillance video. A burgundy pickup truck was observed driving up to the bikes. A man got out of the truck, picked up the bikes, put them in the bed of the truck and drove toward the exit. The man was wearing a lime green shirt.
Forbush said Fenton police officer Travis Whitman responded to the store, obtained all of that information from the loss prevention employee and as he was driving toward the exit, he saw the suspect’s vehicle parked in the restaurant adjacent to Target’s exit. The officer walked into the restaurant and spotted the suspect, later identified as Valles, wearing a lime green shirt. When confronted, Valles claimed he thought the bicycles had been abandoned.
Whitman arrested Valles for stealing the bikes. During a search, the officer recovered a loaded and unregistered 9mm handgun from Valles’ waistband. Valles did not own the weapon and did not have a concealed pistol license (CPL).
Valles was transported to the police station for processing. Valles’ friend, a 25-year-old Flint man, who was with him at the time of the bicycle theft, was questioned. Police learned he had valid arrest warrants from another jurisdiction and was subsequently turned over to that police agency.
The bicycles were returned to the boys.