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  First RPD Report of 2013
January 14, 2013

From Chief Chris Magnus:

I am pleased to share with you my first “Update of RPD Activities” for 2013!   We wrapped up 2012 with significantly improved reductions in homicides, but much work remains in addressing property crimes throughout the City.  We have a number of strategies underway in each district, with the priority goal of reducing vehicle thefts and residential break-ins.  In addition, we continue to be very focused on metal-theft reduction.  We are approaching all these efforts by working closely with neighborhood residents as well as other area police agencies.
            In addition to my usual practice of highlighting a few of the diverse recent calls for service and officer-initiated activities of Department personnel, I am pleased to include a summary of the 2012 work of our Special Investigations Section at the end of this report.  I think you will share my view that this section of the Department is doing outstanding work and is a significant reason why gun violence is decreasing in Richmond.
            I am grateful we continue to have such strong support from the Richmond City Council and City Manager for our police department.  It takes leadership and funding to maintain necessary police staffing levels, as well as training and equipment, to do the work we’re doing.  I also appreciate a command staff that is second to none, including Deputy Chiefs Brown and Medina, as well as Captains Williams, Gagan, and Sappal.  I look forward to working with everyone in the year ahead.    

Chief Chris Magnus


Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, 12:25 a.m., 23rd St. and Roosevelt St.--Officer Mendler located a stolen Honda in this area.  As he waited for cover officers to arrive, the suspect began to flee.  A short pursuit ensued and the suspect collided into a vehicle in a driveway at 32nd and Garvin.  The suspect then fled on foot.  An extensive search was conducted with a K-9 and the CHP helicopter, however the suspect was able to elude capture.

Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, 3:00 a.m., 400 block of B St.--Officers were dispatched to a B St. address on the report of an unwanted person.  The reporting party advised that his nephew was there visiting when the nephew started arguing with other family members.  The reporting party said he wanted his nephew to leave the residence, but the nephew refused.  As officers were responding, Dispatch advised that the complainant and suspect were involved in a physical altercation.  Officer Palma responded and saw the suspect—a 27 year-old male—in front of the residence.  When the suspect saw Officer Palma, the suspect attempted to duck behind a vehicle in the driveway.  Officer Palma heard the sound of something metal hitting the ground and realized the suspect had just dropped a gun.  The suspect was immediately taken into custody.  The suspect admitted to having the .22 caliber revolver and Officer Palma located a bag of ammunition in the suspect’s pocket. 

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m., 7th St. and Chanslor Ave.--Officer Bell initiated a traffic stop on a Honda which had paper plates affixed to it.  Upon conducting a registration check of the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), he discovered the vehicle was stolen.  The driver—a 49 year-old female—was subsequently arrested for Vehicle Theft.  She was also found to be in possession of 14 bags of methamphetamine and marijuana.  The other four passengers in the vehicle did not have any knowledge that the vehicle was stolen, so they were released from the scene.  

Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 2:15 p.m., 23rd St. and Broadway St.--Officers responded to the a report of a man with a gun.  When they arrived, the officers made contact with several individuals.  The 24 year-old male suspect was found with a loaded .380 caliber handgun in his pants pocket.  The suspect was arrested and booked into the Richmond Jail.  Officer J. Brown authored the report.

Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 8:30 a.m., S. 42nd St.--Officers responded to an address on this street on the report of a fight.  When he arrived, Officer Platzner spoke to the victim.  The victim said the male suspect lived at her residence.  The suspect started arguing with the victim about their child missing the bus that morning.  The argument continued, and the suspect grabbed the victim’s neck and started choking her.  The suspect then grabbed the victim’s hair and dragged her into the kitchen.  The victim’s daughter attempted to stop the altercation.  The suspect  threatened the daughter with a knife.  The suspect was arrested and booked into the Richmond Jail.  An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) was also issued.

Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 1:15 p.m., 1200 block of Macdonald Ave.--Officer M. Brown conducted a traffic stop of a tan Infinity with no license plates.  When the vehicle pulled over, the driver and two passengers jumped out and attempted to flee.  The 19 year-old male driver was quickly apprehended.  A VIN check was done and the vehicle came back as stolen out of Berkeley.  The suspect was arrested and booked into the Richmond Jail.

Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 4:10 p.m., 1300 block of Pine Ave.--Officer K. Nguyen conducted a traffic stop of a 2011 Nissan Sentra.  The vehicle came back as stolen out of Hayward.  The vehicle pulled over and the driver was arrested.  The suspect was transported  and booked into the Richmond Jail.

Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 3:30 a.m., 1900 block of Nevin Ave.--Officers were sent to 19th St. and Barrett Ave. to investigate an assault.  An anonymous caller observed the suspect hitting the victim with an unknown object in the head.  The victim fell to the ground, where she may have lost consciousness.  Officers Peixoto and Griffin quickly responded to the area and observed the 37 year-old suspect attempting to leave on foot.  The suspect was taken into custody at 20th St. and Macdonald Ave. by Officer Griffin.  Officer Peixoto cared for the 27 year-old victim and observed she had some head injuries.  The preliminary investigation indicated the suspect had become upset with the victim when she refused to participate in prostitution activities.  The victim was taken to Kaiser Medical Center where she received treatment.  The suspect was transported to RPD Jail where he was booked for Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW).  The suspect had prior arrests, including robbery convictions, that occurred in 2000 and 2005.

Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, various times and locations throughout Richmond—Personnel from the Department’s Regulatory Unit did a series of “decoy operations” at various liquor stores and liquor-serving establishments around the city.  The purpose of these operations is to discourage sales of alcoholic beverages to minors.  The Department’s Regulatory Unit conducts such operations on an ongoing basis.

Wed., Jan. 9, 2012, 2:10 a.m., address withheld--The Temple Texas University Police Department called RPD Dispatch regarding a suicidal individual on a web-cam with two university students.  The subject (in his early 20s) was on-line communicating with two female students while holding a gun to his head threatening suicide.  The subject informed the students he lived in Richmond and was in possession of several firearms.  A University Police officer observed the on-line communication and learned the suspect’s name.  The information was e-mailed to Officer Hembree, who followed-up by confirming the suspect’s identity and his address.
Sgt. Barragan and a team of officers responded to the suicidal subject’s address, where they attempted to contact the individual by phone. When their efforts failed, the officers created a ruse and lured the subject outside.  The subject was taken into custody without incident.  Several firearms were recovered and booked into evidence for safekeeping.  The subject was placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold and taken to Martinez Regional Medical Center by AMR.  Officer Willey of the Temple University Police Department was informed the subject was in-custody.          

Wednesday., Jan. 9, 2013, 3:45 p.m., 251 S. 12th St. (Leadership School)--On Jan. 4th, Officer Peixoto authored a commercial burglary report as a result of his investigation into an incident at the Leadership School.  On Jan. 9, 2013, Officer Kaiser responded back to Leadership School at the request of the principal.  When Officer Kaiser arrived, he made contact with the complainant who related the circumstances surrounding the previous burglary.  The complainant advised that during the burglary, the suspects had taken a number of two-way Motorola hand-held walkie-talkies.  The complainant further stated that since the burglary, the likely-suspects had been communicating on the radios.  She told the officer she had been monitoring these communications.
            Officer Kaiser obtained an extra school walkie-talkie for the purposes of continuing to monitor these communications in an attempt to locate the suspects.  Eventually he was able to determine a location of the suspects based on the conversations he overheard.  At this point, along with the assistance of several other officers, Officer Kaiser and his team converged on the 100 block of Harbour Way S., where they observed several potential suspects standing on the corner.  Officer Kaiser made contact with these individuals and was quickly able to activate his walkie-talkie talkie,  thus hearing his transmission coming from the radios secreted on each suspect.   All four suspects were taken into custody and transported to the Police Dept. 
            Confessions were subsequently obtained and the appropriate detectives were notified.  The recovered equipment was identified by school personnel.  Det. J. Clark was assigned the investigation.  The adults were booked into the County Jail and the juveniles were booked into Juvenile Hall in Martinez.  Excellent investigative effort and initiative was demonstrated by the officers involved in this collaborative effort.

Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, 4:15 p.m., Pullman Apartments—Det. Reina was in the area of the Pullman Apartments attempting to locate a suspect wanted by the Contra Costa Co. Sheriff’s Department on a Ramey warrant for a shooting that had occurred a couple of weeks earlier in the County’s jurisdiction.  Det. Reina located the suspect driving a gray sedan out of the Pullmans, at which point he requested the assistance of a marked police unit for an enforcement stop.
Uniformed officers Anderson and Hoffman attempted to initiate a vehicle stop; however the suspect’s failure to yield resulted in a vehicle pursuit.   The pursuit ended after a short period in the 5400 block of Reid Ct.  The suspect was taken into custody at the scene.  Sgt. Rood and Grey were on scene at the termination point. 

Highlights from the Special Investigations Section (SIS) 2012 End of Year Summary:
In summary, during 2012, the SIS executed 677 tactical investigative searches (99 search warrants, 333 parole searches, and 245 probation searches) that resulted in the arrest of 348 subjects and the seizure of 84 firearms, 19 lbs of cocaine, 19 oz of methamphetamine, 5 oz of heroin, 18 lbs of marijuana, 2,800 marijuana plants, 2 vehicles, and $462,889.00.

Significant Highlights/Accomplishments
No one unit in SIS can take full credit for the Sections’ accomplishments in 2012.  All three units worked together throughout the year supporting each other with every tactical operation.  The SIS statistics listed above were because the SIS personnel truly take a team approach to the mission.  The mission for 2012 remained the same:  “Reduce and prevent violence.”
The Section took this to heart and supported the Department’s overall enforcement strategies.  The relationships built by SIS personnel with so many local, state and federal agencies, as well as the community, went a long way toward building the Section’s success.  This included an emphasis on increasing communication and collaboration with members of the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section, Patrol Division, and the Youth Services Section.    
            The Special Investigations Section, with the support of many others in the community, developed lists of those thought to be significantly involved in Richmond shootings.  The lists identified those in North and Central Richmond who were members or associates of particular gangs.  With those lists, by collaborating with the community, a multifaceted approach (including Operation Ceasefire) was taken.  SIS supported the community outreach to the listed individuals, enhanced relationships with law enforcement partners, and maintained a target-specific enforcement approach.  One of the most positive relationships fostered this year was with the District Attorney’s Office.  This was a major factor to the Department’s success. 
            SIS does not seek to take credit for the reduction in violence this year, however the Department is confident the strategy and actions employed by SIS played a significant role.  SIS consistently took its enforcement efforts “to the front doors” of those individuals committing acts of gun violence in Richmond.  Even if they lived in another city or county, SIS detectives went to them--and it sent a clear message. 
            SIS “reintroduced” many high-profile targets to the justice system.  There were 12 key gang-involved criminals in North Richmond who were federally indicted and another 12 in Central Richmond who were indicted in 2012.  One group of note was suspect Todd Gillard and those who assisted him, who were indicted last year.  In addition, Joe Blacknell was sentenced for 250+ years in prison for his many horrific crimes.  SIS worked hard with the D.A.’s Office to monitor the most serious criminal targets throughout the County.  SIS assisted in the investigations and indictments of two separate homicide suspects committed by Central gang members in other jurisdictions.
            In 2012, SIS made it a goal to conduct a probation and/or parole search on every gang member that was placed on the target list.  Many others, in addition to those on the list, also received a compliance check.  A combined total of 578 documented compliance checks were conducted.  This would not have been possible without the assistance of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Parole and Contra Costa County Probation.  A key note to take into consideration is that only one of Richmond’s GPS (electronic monitoring) cases returned to custody for a new violent offense.  We were advised by CDCR that the word in prison became, “Don’t be paroled to Richmond, because of their compliance and enforcement efforts.” 
            The Narcotics Unit continued with its successes.  The Unit addressed district and neighborhood narcotic related complaints, while still conducting middle and upper-level narcotics trafficking investigations.  This unit conducted close to 200 documented operations. 
Most notable were the Johnson brothers, who had been involved in supplying kilograms of cocaine to the Richmond-area for at least a decade.  The Johnson case resulted in four arrests, the seizure of 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, three guns, and $335,000.   A significant number of hours also went into the investigations and arrests of several upper level narcotic traffickers connected to central and southern California.   # # #   (Thanks to Lt. Chuck Whitney for his assistance in compiling this data and his role in managing SIS.)
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Chris Magnus
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