Two 18-year-old Evanston residents are now facing felony charges in connection with the theft of two bicycles early Friday morning.

Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott says the officer who took the theft report broadcast a police radio message describing the bikes, which had been locked to a rack in the 800 block of Colfax Street, just west of Sherman Avenue.

A short time later, officers patrolling the area of Penny Park at 1500 Lake St., about a mile-and-a-quarter from the scene of the theft, noticed two men in the park with bikes matching the description of the ones that had been stolen.

When the officers tried to stop the men, Parrott says, one fled on foot and the other resisted arrest, but both ultimately were taken into custody.

Parrott says the bikes were identified by their owner, one suspect was found to be carrying a bolt cutter and one of them admitted involvement in the theft.

Najee S. Muhammed-Bey, 18, of 1557 Dewey Ave., now faces a felony charge of possession of burglary tools and misdemeanor charges of theft and resisting a peace officer.

Jonathan H. Staffney, 18, of 1717 Hovland Court, faces a felony charge of aggravated resisting a peace officer and a misdemeanor theft charge.

Both also were chaged with a city ordinance violation for being in a park after closing hours.

They’re scheduled to appear in Skokie district court at 9 a.m. on July 25.

Two officers were treated and released at Evanston Hospital for minor injuries sustained in making the arrests.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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