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Bike theft suspect gets lawyer and more charges

The local man whose yard harbored dozens of bicycles and other equipment that had been reported stolen or missing has been hit with a pair of additional grand theft charges in Albemarle County.

However, Joe Abel Arevalo, 40, brought a lawyer with him to Albemarle General District Court Thursday, and she won a continuance of his cases.

“There is a significant amount of paperwork that I’m just getting to,” attorney Jessica Phillips told the judge, as she requested a delay.

Her client, wearing a brightly colored bandana pulled up as a face mask, stood behind her. Judge Matthew J. Quatrara agreed to delay Arevalo’s initial hearing for two months.

A search warrant executed on Nov. 4, 2022, turned up so many missing bicycles on the rented Reservoir Road property inhabited by Arevalo that investigators obtained a shipping container to store them. A local bike shop manager estimated the trove’s value at around $60,000, and a search warrant inventory counted 327 pieces of seized merchandise.

The new charges stem from two of the items found in that November raid: a Ditch Witch trenching machine and a Freedom Trailer containing over $1,000 worth of tools. Each new charge is felony grand larceny charge.

The raid had previously resulted in a felony drug possession charge for Arevalo after officers allegedly found a methamphetamine-encrusted glass smoking pipe at the residence. Per the judge’s continuance, the three county charges will be heard March 23.

Meanwhile, in the city of Charlottesville, Arevalo faces a pair of grand larceny charges, one for a conduit swiped on camera from a plumbing supply house and one for a high-end bicycle taken from a man’s garage and then tracked by its owner with an Apple AirTag homing device.

Arevalo also faces a city trespassing charge, the complainant alleges, for entering a woman’s apartment without her permission. These three city charges come to court March 30.

A 2021 domestic assault and battery charge against Arevalo appeared headed for dismissal until this new round of charges. Records in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court indicate that that case gets a hearing on March 20.


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