As Irvine police were taking the description of a man suspected in multiple burglaries and thefts — including stealing a 5-year-old's bicycle — witnesses spotted him and officers chased him into an Irvine marsh and arrested him.
Officers on foot followed Tony Angulo, 32, of Riverside, after he fled from an apartment complex on Turtle Crest Drive on Dec. 9.
They arrested him on suspicion of auto theft, multiple thefts from vehicles and residential burglary.
About 9:30 a.m. that day, police received a call about suspicious activity in a church parking lot.
A woman told police that a man was walking in and around vehicles and when she started her car and made eye contact, he left the area.
About an hour later, police responded to the Turtle Ridge Apartments, where a small amount of cash had been stolen from an unlocked car, according to a news release from the department.
While officers were taking a report, another man approached them, saying his phone had been stolen and he was using a GPS application to track it.
As witnesses were describing the suspect, they saw Angulo, and police chased him into a nearby marsh, where he was arrested without incident, according to the release.
Angulo was allegedly wearing a jacket missing from a Honda that had been reported stolen in Corona on Dec. 8, police said. The car was recovered nearby.
Police believe Angulo is also connected to another residential burglary in the apartment complex.
A 5-year-old boy had posted a "missing" sign after his bicycle was stolen from a garage. Police say they were able to link Angulo to that theft, recover the bike and return it to the boy.
Angulo pleaded not guilty Tuesday to burglary in the first degree, grand theft, unlawful taking of a vehicle, buying or receiving a stolen vehicle or equipment, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and two counts of resisting a peace officer, according to court records.
He is being held on $100,000 bail.