Somerville police arrest man attempting to steal eBikes worth $5.3k; discover active warrant and license plate fraud

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SOMERVILLE – On Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, at approximately 2:02 p.m., Officers Gianna Ferrara and Christopher Fusco of the Somerville Police Department were dispatched to 12 Lincoln Street to assist Sergeant Van Nostrand with “a suspicious person.”

(The following account and quotations were taken from the Personnel Narrative of Officer Gianna Ferrara.)

According to Officer Ferrara, at about 1:33 p.m., dispatch received a call from a resident of 13 Arlington Street who said that she checked her doorbell camera when she got home and saw a man attempting to steal her two eBikes from her back porch.

She described the individual as a 40-year-old man wearing a light blue bike helmet, blue shirt, and khaki pants. The woman then emailed a screenshot of the man in the video to the Somerville Police Department.

Shortly thereafter, Sgt. Nostrand witnessed a man who matched the description dragging a moped down Lincoln Street. The man was later identified as Rolando Arias, 50, of 24 Shirley Avenue in Revere.

“Sgt. Van Nostrand pulled up the photo that [the woman] had sent officers earlier and was able to confirm that the picture was Arias. He called for additional units,” Officer Ferrara said.

When Officer Fusco arrived on scene, he read Arias his Miranda rights and asked him if he understood his rights, which he said he did.

Officer Fusco then asked Arias if he had attempted to try to steal an eBike earlier in the day from 13 Arlington Street.

“Arias stated that he attempted to take a bicycle off the back porch of that address but stated that he was given permission by his friend ‘Mark,’” Officer Ferrara said. “Arias told officers that he has known ‘Mark’ for years but was unable to provide a last name or address for this individual.”

Officer Fusco then showed Arias the screenshot from the doorbell camera and asked if he was the individual in the image, Arias said he was.

“We asked Arias if he had any tools in his backpack to which he confirmed that he had a drill inside his backpack,” Officer Ferrara said. “When asked why he had a drill, Arias stated that he was going to use it to remove the pin from the bicycle. Sgt. Van Nostrand asked Arias if officers could search his backpack. With clear and concise consent, Arias let officers look in his bag, which contained four Channellock wrenches and a drill.”

Sgt. Nostrand queried Arias’ name in the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services database, which revealed that he had one active warrant out of Chelsea District Court.

Arias was then placed under arrest and transported to the Somerville Police Department for booking.

Sgt. Nostrand then queried the Moped’s license plate and it did not come back to the same Moped that Arias had in his possession at the time of his arrest.

The plate was confiscated and the Moped was towed from the scene.

“I called [the woman] to find the value of the two eBikes she owned. [The woman] stated that the first eBike was a black Juice RipCurrent worth around $2,500.00,” Officer Ferrara said. “The second eBike was a Aveton Level 2 eBike worth around $2,800.00.”

Arias was charged with attempt to commit a crime and possession of burglarious instrument.

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