Modesto man a suspect in theft of motorcycle bags

A Modesto man was one of two people arrested on suspicion of stealing a pair of saddlebags from a motorcycle parked near a Sonora hotel, authorities said.

Just before midnight Saturday, a man reported the theft, which occurred outside the Days Inn on Washington Street, according to Chief Mark Stinson of the Sonora Police Department.

The victim gave officers a description of the suspects’ truck, and officers found it several minutes later parked along Highway 49 about three miles from the hotel.

The saddle bags were in plain view in the bed of the truck.

The truck’s driver, Ernest Costa, 48, of Chinese Camp, was arrested and booked into Tuolumne County Jail on suspicion of grand theft, possession of methamphetamine and possession of stolen property — all felonies.

Passenger Tommy Lee Smith, 46, of Modesto, was booked on a felony parole violation and suspicion of possession of stolen property.