August 21, 2019
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in a burglary case involving the theft of Kent 18” boy’s bicycles and assorted sports equipment from a self-storage unit on Sherman Avenue. On July 16, 2019, the items were reported stolen.
BCSO Criminal Investigations began investigating and learned on August 20, 2019, that the missing bicycles were seen at 12101 Happyville Road. The owner of the property allowed investigators to search and a new bicycle was found behind a shed on the property, and one was located inside a truck on the property. Both bikes were identical to the ones that were stolen. Further investigation developed Christopher Baten Fernandes as a suspect.
Fernandes was seen bringing new bicycles, still in boxes, up to the property and heard bragging he took the bikes “from a cop”. The owner of the bicycles was Mike Jones, a retired PCPD officer and Chief of Security and Police for Bay District Schools. Mr. Jones also gives free bicycles to children in Bay County each Christmas as Salvage Santa.
On August 21, 2019, Fernandes was pulled over and detained. When questioned, Fernandes denied taking any bikes. He gave permission for a search to be done on his vehicle and investigators found a child’s bike inside the vehicle. It had been freshly spray-painted red. Despite the paint, investigators were able to identify it as the same make and model as the bikes stolen. Also located in the vehicle was a short-barreled 12 Gauge shotgun. The gun’s grip had also been modified.
Fernandes, age 40, of Youngstown, was arrested and charged with Burglary of a Dwelling, Grand Theft, and Possession of a Short Barreled Gun.
Prepared by R. Corley
Information by Inv. B. Roberts
Approved by Chief J. Heape