by Anneli Rufus
A serial auto burglar was nabbed in Berkeley this week.
According to a bulletin just received from Officer Byron White, BPD Operations Division Area Coordinator for a large portion of North Berkeley:
"In the early morning hours of January 11, in the neighborhood north of Colusa Avenue and Solano Avenue, a community member called BPD to report seeing someone on the street standing next to her car. From her 2nd story window, the community member could see a male hunched over the front passenger side door, but could not see exactly what he was doing. Thinking the male was breaking into her car, the community member reported the incident to BPD and provided a description of the suspect.
"Hearing the police radio broadcast, Officer Norma Caro #62 immediately responded to the area. Once in the area, Officer Caro spotted a male that matched the description of the suspect walking on The Alameda at intersection with Capistrano Avenue. Seeing the man, Officer Caro requested a cover officer and detained the man. While Officer Caro waited for her cover officer, the man started talking. The man told Officer Caro about how he had 'found' a cell phone on the sidewalk a long time ago and had gotten into trouble for it.
"Officer Caro responded to the man that had he turned the property in when he found it, he may not have gotten into trouble for having it. The man then said that he had a GPS device that he found at Thousand Oaks School in his bag and that he wanted to turn it in to the police.
"Shortly thereafter, Officer Matthew McGee #124 arrived to assist Officer Caro. While Officer Caro went to meet the community member who initially called, Officer McGee continued to investigate the man detained. While speaking with the man, Officer McGee discovered the man was on parole for possession of stolen property. When Officer McGee searched the man, he discovered that the man had a pocket full of coins, dollar bills of various denominations, drugs, a flashlight, and other suspected stolen property and/or contraband.
"After contacting several other community members who found items stolen from their unlocked vehicles, Officer Caro was able to link the man she had detained to [robberies involving] at least three other vehicles parked in the area."
Good work, BPD. But car owners, please — if you leave your vehicle unlocked, you're asking for trouble.