Man arrested after pushing victim off bike and stealing it, Seal Beach police say

Seal Beach police tracked down and arrested a man suspected of pushing another man off his bicycle and into the street before riding away on the stolen bike, officials said.

The victim was riding his bicycle around 10 a.m. on Dec. 19 near the intersection of Seal Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway when the suspect approached and shoved him, police said.

A passing driver saw the incident unfold, immediately called 911 and gave a description to authorities who found the suspect a short distance away, police said. They arrested 24-year-old James Spells from Indianapolis, Indiana on suspicion of robbery, according to the department.

While the victim wasn’t seriously injured, his bicycle and helmet were damaged, according to a news release.

“In light of the unfortunate incident and the spirit of the holiday season, the responding officers decided to help the victim get back to riding,” Sgt. Nick Nicholas said in the release. The Seal Beach Police Officers’ Association donated money to buy a new bicycle and helmet for the victim.

Community-Oriented Policing Team officer Victor Ruiz lauded the driver who quickly reported the robbery, which helped officers find the suspect quickly.

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Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. She started at the Post in 2018 as a breaking news reporter. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.