What follows are some highlights of department activity over the last several days. As you can see, the idea that summer is a “slow” time doesn’t seem to apply to the Police Department! That said, a lot of what’s been happening are actually positive activities, especially the very successful National Night Out celebrations this past Tuesday.
In looking at our crime stats for July, I am pleased to note that stolen vehicles are down 22%. I appreciate the good work being done by our regional auto theft task force. We have also been doing extensive crime prevention work focused on reducing auto theft. Curiously, thefts from vehicles have increased this year compared to 2012. Don’t forget to lock your cars and make sure you don’t leave valuables in your vehicle.
For better or worse, I’m now on Twitter. You can follow me @RPDChiefMagnus or catch my various RPD-related updates (and “tweets”) on our Facebook page. I guess there’s no escape from social media these days, so we’re doing our best to embrace it! Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer!
Chief Chris Magnus
Friday, August 9, 2013, 4:50 a.m., 800 block of S. 45th St.--Officer Cantrell observed a Honda Accord being driven on Potrero Ave. with a broken headlight. A records check indicated the vehicle was reported stolen out of Richmond earlier during the week. The 27 year-old female suspect was taken into custody without incident. She was booked into the RPD Jail pending transport to the Contra Costa Co. Jail in Martinez.
- Thursday, August 8, 2013, 7:05 p.m., 600 block of Chanslor--Officer Nath observed the 24 year-old suspect NB on 23rd St. at a high rate of speed on a motorcycle. Officer Nath attempted to catch up to the motorcycle and provide a direction of travel, as well a description of the suspect, however he was unsuccessful. No pursuit was initiated at that time.
A short time later, Officer Haupt located the motorcycle down in the middle of the roadway at 4th St. and Bissell Ave. The ignition was punched and the engine was running. Officer Branch responded to that scene and obtained information from neighbors that the suspect was in the backyard of a residence in the 600 block of Chanslor Ave. A perimeter was set up and after a search of the surrounding yards, the suspect was flushed out. The suspect attempted to escape by jumping over a fence; however he was apprehended while fleeing on Chanslor Ave. by Officer Hoffman with the assistance of other perimeter officers.
Officer Nath arrested the suspect for three separate no-bail Richmond arrest warrants that included stealing vehicles and eluding arrest. The suspect stated he was uninjured as a result of the solo collision and arrest, however, he was still transported him to County Hospital for medical clearance. He was then booked into the County Jail in Martinez.
Thursday, August 8, 2013, 8:40 p.m., 200 block of Marina Way South--Officers Domenici and Munguia attempted to conduct a traffic enforcement stop on a 2012 Nissan sedan in the 200 block of Marina Way South. The vehicle failed to yield and a traffic pursuit ensued. The 67 year-old suspect led the officers on pursuit over several streets in the Northern and Southern Districts for approximately 7 minutes. The distance traveled was 4.5 miles. The officers involved in the pursuit were well disciplined and maintained clear concise broadcasts of their progress.
The suspect was involved in a hit and run, non injury type traffic collision at 23rd St. and Macdonald Ave. The suspect rammed Officer Avila’s patrol vehicle on two separate occasions during the pursuit. The pursuit terminated on Harbour Way South, south of Cutting Blvd. The driver was arrested with K-9 contact (which is a nice way of saying “he got bit”). During the course of the investigation it was learned the same suspect led Contra Costa County Sheriff deputies on a pursuit last month and the pursuit terminated with the suspect crashing his vehicle in the bay.
- Thursday, August 8, 2013, 9:30 a.m., 300 block of Ohio St.--Officer J. Anderson and Recruit Officer Hodges responded to this area to deal with suspected prostitution activity. When they arrived, Officer Hodges contacted a 40 year-old female loitering in the area. While he was speaking to this female, she attempted to discard a small plastic bag containing a usable quantity of methamphetamine. Officer Hodges noticed her movement, retrieved the methamphetamine, and place the suspect under arrest. The suspect was booked into the RPD Jail.
- Thursday, August 8, 2013, 10:30 a.m., 700 block of 5th St.--Neighbors of the involved 29 year-old female reported that she was behaving irrationally. The female was “spinning her children in circles and dragging them” on the ground. In addition, she removed her neighbor’s 10 month old child from a car seat and attempted to place a glove in the child’s mouth, as well as over his head. The child’s mother and grandmother intervened to prevent the female from harming him. The female then assaulted the grandmother by punching her and pulling her pants down from off her waist.
- The responding officers (Sgt. Abetkov, Officer Vinson, and Officer Cortez) had to use physical force to gain control of the female. They were able to bring her under control after pointing a Taser at her (the Taser did not need to be deployed). The female was detained for a mental health evaluation and transported to County Hospital by ambulance. Officer Cortez authored the preliminary investigation.
- Thursday, August 8, 2013, 10:00 a.m., Richmond-Colma—The Department’s Traffic Unit provided a motorcycle escort for Councilman Gary Bell’s burial procession from Richmond to the cemetery in Colma. Sgt. Schlemmer coordinated this escort and worked closely with the Bell family to provide all possible assistance. The Traffic Unit also provided assistance related to Councilman Bell’s funeral on Wednesday.
- Thursday, August 8, 2013, 7:00 a.m., 3999 Lakeside Dr.--Officer M. Canelo conducted “Active Shooter” safety training for approximately 30 employees of East Bay MUD.
- Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 11:15 a.m., 200 block of Marina Way S.--Officers responded to what was initially reported as an armed robbery. During his interview of the alleged 20 year-old victim, Officer Loucas determined she had made a false report in order to obtain an expedited response from RPD.
- The suspect loaned her friend her iPhone 5. The friend used the phone, then left the residence without returning the device. The complainant chased after her friend, but was unable to catch him or retrieve her phone. Upset because of the theft, the complainant called RPD Dispatch and reported that she had been robbed at gunpoint. On the dispatch tape, the complainant is clearly heard saying, “He pointed a gun in my face and took my cell phone,” however, when questioned in person, she indicated otherwise. The complainant is being cited for making a false police report.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013, 3:30 a.m., 2700 block of S. 27th St.--Two suspects were observed stealing copper wire from the PG&E south yard near the intersection of Regatta Blvd and Marina Bay Parkway. The suspects fled the area northbound on Marina Bay to I-580. The suspects were followed, but officers were unable to make an apprehension. Officers recovered a large amount of copper wiring in the roadway and sidewalk area of Regatta Blvd.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., Civic Center plaza and neighborhoods throughout the city—The National Night Out 30th Anniversary party was held in front of City Hall. From there, officers, other City officials, and residents fanned out to block parties held across the community. Chief Magnus, Deputy Chief Medina, and Deputy Chief Brown were among those visiting neighborhoods throughout Richmond and celebrating National Night Out.
At 8:00 p.m., many folks reconvened back at the Civic Center plaza to participate in a special awards program. The Department and its Crime Prevention Board recognized Ray Lambert, former Neighborhood Services Director/Neighborhood Ombudsman for the City of Richmond and Larry Lewis, Director of the Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL) with a “Lifetime Achievement Award.” (As an aside, Larry just retired from RPD with 32 years of service.) Also receiving awards on Tuesday night for distinguished crime prevention service were neighborhood residents Myrtle Braxton, Naomi Williams, and Mary Robert.
Many thanks to all those who helped with National Night Out, including the Fire Department, the City Manager’s Office, Public Works, the Crime Prevention Board, and others. Special thanks to RPD’s Crime Prevention Manager Michelle Milam and Administrative Student Intern Mandy Swirsding for their work in coordinating many of the NNO activities as well as the program at the Civic Center.
- Sunday, August 4, 2013, 8:30 a.m., 200 block of Marina Way--Officer K. Tong initiated a registration check of a car occupied by three persons that was parked in front of an abandoned property in this block. The car engine was idling but it was parked at the east curb line. The residence had been “red tagged” by Code Enforcement and had yellow security tape running across the front labeled “hazardous.” The registration came back as a reported stolen vehicle out of Sacramento. Officer K. Tong arrested the 32 year-old male suspect without incident. Officer K. Tong authored the police report.
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