Sacto 9-1-1
January 30, 2009
Deputies arrest suspect in Rancho Cordova slaying

7clip_image002.jpgFrom Chelsea Phua:

Sacramento County Sheriff's detectives have arrested a 30-year-old Sacramento man suspected of shooting and killing another man in Rancho Cordova.

Department officials said Derrick Sam (photo left) was arrested Thursday at the homicide unit's office, where he had been brought in for questioning.

Sam is accused of killing of 30-year-old Timothy Brodie on Dec. 19 last year. Detectives say they believe that Brodie was kidnapped in the early evening hours, taken to an apartment complex on Laurelhurst Drive and shot several times in the parking lot. He died at the scene.

The victim's vehicle was found the next day in Carmichael where it had been set on fire.

Sam was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of murder, kidnapping, arson and false imprisonment charges. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 2.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sheriff's Homicide detectives at 916 874-5115 or Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 30, 2009
Case of bad timing - for Granite Bay burglary suspects

From Chelsea Phua:

Authorities have arrested a Sacramento man and are looking for a woman after a Granite Bay resident arrived home Tuesday morning to find the thieves leaving, according to a report released Friday.

When Placer County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the victim's home on Red Bud Road, the suspects had fled. The homeowner had obtained the suspects' vehicle license and Placer County investigators used it to alert all law enforcement agencies in the surrounding area.

A Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy later found the suspects' vehicle in North Highlands and stopped it. Stephawn Maurice Bobbit (photo below left), 22, was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on Thursday for possession of methamphetamine for sale and violation of his parole, according to online jail records.

The burglary victim identified Bobbit as the person who stole from his home, a Placer County Sheriff's department news release stated. The victim also identified Siatua Mataafa (photo below right), 30, of Sacramento, as participating in the burglary, the release said.

A warrant for Mataafa's arrest on suspicion of burglary and conspiracy charges has been issued, the release said.

1Bobbit stephawn.jpg

Mataafa siatua.jpg

January 30, 2009
Judge rules sexual predator can be released in county

From Kim Minugh:

A sexually violent predator will be allowed to live in Sacramento County, but only under an extensive checklist of conditions and regulations, a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled Friday.

Steven Darcy Sherwood, 61, will be moved from a state hospital to housing in the 6500 block of Excelsior Road in Sacramento on or before Feb. 15.

Sherwood, whose history of sexual attacks on children dates back to 1973, has completed a four-phase program under the Department of Mental Health that makes him eligible for release. During a hearing Friday afternoon, Judge Joseph Orr said Sherwood was successful because of "aggressive involvement on his part."

"Many participants of the program never make it through these four phases," Orr said.

The release, however, comes with more than 75 stipulations that Sherwood has agreed to, Orr said. Among those regulations are: GPS monitoring, polygraph exams every 90 days, psychotherapy, and prohibited access to the Internet, cameras, and community events without permission from a supervisor.

In 1993, Sherwood was convicted of a felony count of a lewd and lascivious act on a child and sentenced to three years in state prison. In 1995, he was sentenced to four years in state prison after being convicted of elder abuse with force likely to cause great bodily injury, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office said.

Since 1999, he has been in a state hospital receiving treatment, authorities said.

The proposed placement for Sherwood is more than a quarter of a mile away from the closest occupied residence, according to the District Attorney's Office. There are no schools, school bus stops, child-care facilities, churches, parks or other areas where children would regularly gather. Nor are there liquor stores within 2,000 feet, the District Attorney's Office said.

The District Attorney's Office said there are five sexually violent predators living in the county, with one of them on outpatient supervision.

Earlier Friday, a handful of people gathered outside the Sacramento County courthouse in downtown Sacramento to protest Sherwood's release.

Several protestors carried signs proclaiming "Save Our Children."

The Rev. Albert Potter, who works with the non-profit "Mission of Mercy" that in part tries to track missing children, said Sherwood's release in the county was unwise. Sherwood has a history of convictions for sexual attacks on children, starting in 1973, and has spent years in prison.

"We're not saying keep him in jail," he said. "But we are saying put him in another county where there aren't as many children."

Two women who live near Sherwood's proposed new home said they would feel unsafe with him nearby.

"We have a long way to walk to our mailbox," said Glenda Craddock, 65, who lives alone on Excelsior Road. "...And no one's around to see anything."

Dee Gunn, 69, said she is worried because her daughter and grandchildren visit her at her residence near where Sherwood would live. She said her daughter jogs in the area.

"We just don't want him in our neighborhood," she said.

January 30, 2009
Suspect arrested for robberies of pizza delivery drivers

013009-15.pdf - Adobe Reader.JPGFrom Chelsea Phua:

Sacramento police have arrested a 20-year-old man suspected of targeting pizza delivery drivers in a series of robberies this month.

Police say that Willie Soders was one of two men involved in three robberies between Jan. 20 to Jan. 24 in the south Sacramento area.

In each case, the suspects called a pizza place and provided an address and their phone number for delivery. When the driver arrived with their food orders, the suspects robbed the driver at gunpoint and fled.

In one incident, the delivery driver was shot in the leg.

Police arrested Soders on Wednesday.

Detectives are continuing to seek the second suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP or (800) AA-Crime. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 30, 2009
Sacramento PD officer involved in traffic accident

From Chelsea Phua:

A Sacramento Police Department officer was involved in an accident this morning.

No one was injured.

Department spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said the incident happened shortly before 11 a.m. at 28th and X streets.

Leong said the officer was northbound on 28th St and turning right on X when a car driving eastbound on X street collided with the officer's vehicle.

Neither the officer nor the driver complained of pain, Leong said.

January 30, 2009
Intruder enters, exits through unlocked Roseville door

From Niesha Lofing:

An unlocked door led to a confrontation between a Roseville home's resident and an intruder, who was promptly ordered out.

Police were called about 2:30 a.m. Thursday to a home on Badovinac Drive on a report of an intruder, according to an e-mail from Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther.

The woman who lives at the residence had arisen to investigate a noise and found a 6-foot man wearing dark clothing standing in her house near the door leading to the garage, she said.

The woman told him to leave, and he did, then she called 911.

Officers searched the neighborhood, but did not find the man.

The woman was not hurt and said she didn't think anything had been stolen, Gunther said.

It appears the man entered the home through the side door to the garage, which was unlocked.

January 30, 2009
El Dorado couple almost hit as they try to stem casino traffic

From Chelsea Phua:

A Placerville couple was nearly run over while trying to divert traffic accessing the Red Hawk Casino through their neighborhood, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Department report released this week.

Sheriff's deputies arrested Victor Marino Garibay, 40, of Placerville, last week on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly trying to strike Michele Ann King and her husband, Jason Matthew King, with his vehicle.

However, a spokesman for the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office said on Friday that the DA has declined to seek charges against Garibay and he has been released.

Michele King told deputies that she and her husband were trying to turn around cars that were traveling through their neighborhood, trying to find the casino the night of Jan. 22. night. They were stopping vehicles on Buck Mountain Road at Grassy Run Road and had parked their vehicles strategically so that any westbound vehicle on Buck Mountain would have to weave between their vehicles, according to the report.

The report doesn't indicate it, but it appears the road in question is one of the many private roads in El Dorado County.

The Kings were standing in the middle of the road when they noticed a green Jeep Cherokee accelerating towards them.

Michele King said she signal to it with her flashlight, but it continued to accelerate and drive directly at her, the report said. She jumped out of the way as the vehicle passed within a few feet of her, the report said.

January 30, 2009
Unattended running vehicle leads to chase, arrest, search

From Niesha Lofing:

Early Wednesday morning, a man's car was stolen after he left it running to warm up while he was inside his apartment.

The man was getting ready to leave the apartment complex in the 1600 block of Vineyard Way at 2:55 a.m. and had started his pickup and left the driver's-side door unlocked, Gunther said.

He went inside the apartment while the truck warmed up and looked outside in time to see two people get into his truck and drive away.

Roseville police dispatchers broadcast a description of the stolen Ford Ranger truck.

An officer stationed himself near Cirby Way and Melody Lane to watch for the truck and saw it pass him and drive onto westbound Interstate 80.

The officer pulled behind the truck, which sped away, she said.

Additional officers joined the pursuit and followed the truck off the highway onto Antelope Road.

The pursuit ended at U Street, near Watt avenue, after officers put down a tack strip and flattened the truck's tires.

The male driver ran away.

A female passenger, Kaprise Christine Carlson, 24, of Sacramento, was arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary's tools, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, other counts and a Sacramento County arrest warrant, according to online Placer County Jail information.

Carlson is being held on $30,000 bail in the Auburn jail.

Police are investigating the case and trying to locate the driver that fled, Gunther said.

January 30, 2009
16-year-old vs. Dumpster results in Woodland arrest

From Niesha Lofing:

Woodland police arrested a 16-year-old boy early this morning after he crashed a stolen car into a Dumpster.

An officer noticed the boy driving recklessly about 1:41 a.m. in the area of Cottonwood and West Cross streets, a Woodland police news release states.

When the officer tried to conduct a traffic stop, the car crashed into a Dumpster enclosure.

The driver allegedly was under the influence of alcohol and officers discovered that the car he was driving allegedly had been stolen, the release states.

The driver, who is not being identified because of his age, was taken to Woodland Memorial Hospital for "precautionary reasons" and then booked at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving while unlicensed, the release states.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Woodland police at (530) 661-7800 or (530) 661-7800. Callers may remain anonymous.

January 30, 2009
Redding cops think they've ended string of guitar thefts

From Sandy Louey:

A 27-year-old Anderson man is no guitar hero.

During the past 10 days, two music stores reported the theft of several expensive guitars. The loss totaled $5,000, according to a press release from the Redding Police Department.

On Thursday, police officers got a tip about a person matching the description of the suspect involved in a previous theft in the downtown area. One of the business owners identified Shaun Russell Gleason, who moved to Anderson from Idaho, as the person who took a guitar, police said.

An investigation revealed that Gleason pawned eight guitars stolen from the two businesses at local pawn shops. He also removed guitars from display racks at a local business and later pawned them at the same business, authorities said.

Gleason was booked Thursday at the Shasta County jail on suspicion of eight counts of burglary. Bail was set at $10,000, police said.

Police are trying to identify other guitars that he pawned.

January 30, 2009
Alleged shoplifter's tater tale doesn't add up

From Chelsea Phua

A 25-year-old shoplifting suspect had a hard-luck story for El Dorado County Sheriff's deputies when he was arrested, but a search found it didn't add up, according to investigators.

The man allegedly stuffed a package of frozen potatoes inside his pants and tried to leave a Cameron Park supermarket without paying for it, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's Department report. Donavon James Hash of Sacramento told authorities that he just lost his job and "had no other way to feed my kid."

The package of frozen potatoes cost about $3.

Hash told authorities that he had stopped by the Food For Less supermarket on Coach Lane about noon Sunday to pick up food for his son and had intended to pay for it.

However, when he was at the supermarket, he realized he did not have enough money.

A loss-prevention officer at the supermarket spotted Hash and recognized him because Hash allegedly stole from the store recently, according to the report.

The loss-prevention officer told deputies that he saw Hash walk to the frozen food aisle, pick up a package of frozen potatoes, walk to another aisle, then placed the package inside his pants before walking out the store.

The loss prevention officer approached Hash in the parking lot. Hash allowed the officer to retrieve the package.

Deputies later found $8 in Hash's pants pocket. He also had two outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

Hash has pleaded guilty to petty theft and was sentenced to three-year informal probation's, according to the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office..

January 29, 2009
Elk Grove police post speed-checking signs near schools

From Sandy Louey:

Elk Grove police are using speed radar signs to combat speeding near several schools.

The speed radar signs detect approaching cars and display the actual driving speeds. The hope is that the signs will remind drivers to slow down, said Officer Christopher Trim, spokesman for the Elk Grove Police Department.

The signs are mounted on a pole, together with signs reminding motorists of the legal speed limit during school-zone hours, which is 25 mph.

The signs, which have been operating for two weeks, are posted at the following sites:

- The 9400 block of Bond Road near Katherine L. Albiani Middle School and Pleasant Grove High School.

- The 8200 block of Calvine Road near Edward Harris, Jr. Middle School and Monterey Trail High School.

- The 9500 block of Elk Grove Florin Road near Joseph Kerr Middle School.

- The 5700 block of Whitelock Parkway near Toby Johnson Middle School and Franklin High School.

While out with a TV camera crew Thursday at one location, a vehicle sped by at 50 mph, double the 25 mph limit, Trim said.

Trim said the locations were selected in consultation with the Elk Grove Unified School District.

The radar signs will records the speeds of all the vehicles. The data will be analyzed and used to determine where and when stronger enforcement may be needed, he said.

The speed radar signs cost $41,000, with $24,000 coming from a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program grant. The grant is from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

January 29, 2009
Grand jury indicts Lincoln man on child porn charges

From Sandy Louey:

A federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday indicted a 41-year-old Lincoln man on child pornography charges.

Brian Raymond Woodin was indicted for producing, transporting and possessing child pornography. The case was an investigation by the Sacramento and Savannah, Ga., of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a press release from Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown.

Federal prosecutors said last June Woodin allegedly transported images of a child engaged in sexual conduct with a man. The person who sent the images used Woodin's e-mail address.

Search warrants were obtained for Woodin's home and work place, where electronic equipment and computers were seized, authorities said.

January 29, 2009
Update: Sacramento police find 2 missing girls

From Sandy Louey:

Two 11-year-old girls reported missing from their afterschool program were found safely this afternoon, Sacramento police said.

Police received a call at 3:58 p.m. about the girls walking away from the program at Lisbon Elementary School, 7555 South Land Park Drive, said Sgt. Norm Leong, spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department.

The girls were found around 5 p.m. walking in the area of South Land Park and Greenhaven drives, said Officer Laura Peck.

January 29, 2009
Man arrested for reportedly trying to sell laptop on Craigslist

nassar_ahmad.jpgFrom Sandy Louey:

Roseville police have arrested a 22-year-old Sacramento man for allegedly trying to sell a stolen laptop on Craigslist.

Ahmad Sami Nassar (left photo) was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possessing stolen property and driving on a suspended license. He was released from the Roseville City Jail after posting a $5,000 bail bond, Dee Dee Gunther, spokeswoman for the Roseville Police Department, said in a news release.

Nassar had advertised a laptop for sale on Craigslist. The laptop was identified as one that was stolen from a rental car parked in a hotel parking lot in the 1900 block of Taylor Road in Roseville, Gunther said.

On Jan. 21, a San Diego man had reported that his rental sedan had been broken into. Someone had smashed the rear passenger window, taking a laptop computer and purse, police said.

The man returned to San Diego, but searched for his laptop on Sacramento Craigslist. He found one for sale that matched his, including unique prior damages and configuration, Gunther said.

The man contacted Roseville police with information about the seller. A police investigator met up with the seller at a parking lot on Fairway Drive. The stolen computer was recovered and Nassar was arrested, police said.

January 29, 2009
Helicopter used to rescue horse rider in El Dorado County

By Chelsea Phua:

Authorities used a helicopter to rescue a 69-year-old Cool man who was thrown off his horse while riding it on the Auburn Lake Trails on Thursday.

Capt. Gary Baldock, spokesman for the El Dorado County Fire Protection District, said the man was riding two to three miles down the American River Canyon with another rider when the incident happened around noon.

The horse started to canter, and when the man tried to pull back the rein, the horse threw him to the ground, Baldock said.

Several personnel from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Georgetown Fire Protection District and the El Dorado County Fire Protection District responded.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter flew the man to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Cal Fire Capt. Rob Wheatley said the man suffered possible spinal injury, but was in stable condition when he was transported and is expected to survive.

The rescue operation took about three hours.

January 29, 2009
Citrus Heights Police: DUI suspect involved in four-car accident

From Sandy Louey:

A driver who ran a red light early Thursday led to a four-car accident in Citrus Heights, police officials said.

The accident occurred at 5:30 a.m. at Greenback Lane and Auburn Boulevard. Salvador Ayala, 23, was driving recklessly east on Greenback when he ran the light and collided with three other vehicles, said Lt. Jeff Mackanin of the Citrus Heights Police Department.

Ayala was arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence. Ayala, who had a broken arm, and two other drivers were taken to local hospitals for minor injuries from the accident, Mackanin said.

Mackanin said before the accident, the California Highway Patrol had issued a bulletin about a reckless driver on Highway 80. Ayala had exited Highway 80 onto Greenback.

January 29, 2009
Woman sought who dumped body at Kaiser

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police Thursday are looking for a woman who left after dropping a dead man's body at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center in south Sacramento.

The incident occurred at 11:06 a.m. Wednesday at 6600 Bruceville Road.

The man, who was in his 50s, appeared to have died from a drug overdose, but the Sacramento County Coroner's Office will be determining the cause of death, said Sgt. Norm Leong, a spokesman with the Sacramento Police Department.

While it is not believed to be a homicide, police would like to talk to the woman to find out the details behind the man's death, Leong said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

January 29, 2009
Sacramento PD arrests man in molestation of teen

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police have arrested a 28-year-old man for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl while she was asleep.

Richard Andrew Basey was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of penetration by a foreign object, according to online jail records.

The girl was the daughter of an acquaintance, said Sgt. Norm Leong, a spokesman with the police department.

Basey was being held on $50,000 bail Thursday at the Sacramento County Main Jail, according to online jail records.

January 29, 2009
Pedestrian dies after being hit in midtown Sacramento

From Sandy Louey:

A 50-year-old pedestrian died after being hit by a vehicle in midtown Sacramento Wednesday night, police said today.

The accident occurred at 8:18 p.m. at the intersection of 21st and O streets. The driver of a vehicle traveling north on 21st Street saw a shopping cart in the middle of the street, but not a person, said Sgt. Norm Leong, a spokesman with the Sacramento Police Department.

The driver hit the man, Leong said. The pedestrian died Wednesday night at UC Davis Medical Center, he said.

The driver was not injured.

The accident is still under investigation. It is unclear if the man was in the crosswalk or not, Leong said.

Liv Moe of Sacramento was standing about half a block away at Zelda's Original Gourmet Pizza when the accident occurred.

"It sounded like a fender bender, like one car rear ended another," she said.

It wasn't until a family member went to get her car that Moe found out that a man had been hit. The man was lying in the street and his shoes were in the crosswalk, she said.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has not released the man's identity pending notification of next of kin.

Anyone who saw the accident or has information about it is asked to call the police at (916) 264-5471 and ask for the traffic investigations unit.

January 29, 2009
Police obtain arrest warrant for suspected North Natomas gunman

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento police detectives have identified the man responsible for a shooting in North Natomas that followed an argument at a Jack-in-the-Box earlier this month.

On Wednesday, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Austin Willis, 29, for charges of attempted murder and possession of a gun by a felon, said police Sgt. Norm Leong.

Willis was arrested in Sutter County on Saturday for a parole violation and remains in custody, Leong said. He has not yet been formally charged with the Sacramento charges, but the arrest warrant is being processed, Leong said.

At about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 17, two men began arguing outside the Jack in the Box at 2750 Del Paso Blvd. As one man drove off, the other man followed in his car and fired into the first man's car as they drove on East Commerce Way. The victim was hit in his stomach, but survived.

Detectives identified Willis as the shooter by using surveillance footage, Leong said.

January 29, 2009
Prosecutor attacks suspect's version of Sacramento slaying

From Andy Furillo:

The prosecutor today moved into the heart of his cross-examination of accused murderer Jonathan Andrew Hampton, voicing incredulity at the defendant's account of the shooting death of Jonathan Paul Giurbino two years ago.

Deputy District Attorney Kevin Greene wound up to central issues of the case by playing a video of Hampton's statements to police and attacking his description of the events that led up to the homicide that the defendant said resulted from his own efforts to ward off a robbery attempt.

On the tape, Hampton told police that he thought Giurbino was trying to "get me lost" by driving into South Land Park, on their way to make a connection to buy the psychedelic drug Ecstasy, on the day of the killing. Hampton also said on the tape he was flustered by the fast-talking Giurbino.

In his questioning, however, Greene suggested that Hampton's actions did not portray those of someone who might have been scared.

"Aren't red flags going through your head?" Greene asked. "He's talking, talking, talking - trying to get you lost. Why not cut it off right there? It's fishy, right? Something doesn't seen right, right? Why go through with it?"

Hampton, who was driving, said that the thought of terminating the trip to the Ecstasy dealer "didn't cross my mind."

Hampton testified earlier in the trial that Giurbino had tried to rob him at gunpoint inside the defendant's car when they pulled into a driveway on Fordham Way.

Then Hampton said Giurbino lost control of the weapon, that it fell into the defendant's lap and that he shot the victim when Giurbino reached for the gun.

Greene sought to unravel Hampton's story on the details of the shooting by pointing to inconsistencies between what he told police the day after the Feb. 15, 2007, homicide and his trial testimony.

One such detail that did not come out on the police tape was Hampton's trial testimony account of how he had used his left hand to grab at Giurbino's gun and knock it loose.

"My mind was distracted," Hampton testified today. "It was so intense (in the police interview room). I left out part of the story."

January 29, 2009
Sacramento County official: Beware of property tax scam

From Robert Lewis:

Homeowners beware: If you receive something in the mail promising to lower your property tax bill, chances are it's a scam, says Ken Stieger, Sacramento County assessor.

Companies have been blanketing the area with official-looking forms promising property tax savings in return for $95. These companies are not connected to the county, Stieger said.

The mailings urge homeowners to act fast, claiming there is a Feb. 11 deadline to request the service. Not so, says Stieger.

It's too late to appeal the 2008-2009 tax bills and the assessor won't begin accepting applications for review of the 2009-2010 assessment until June. At that time, property owners who request a review from the assessor can receive one for free, Stieger said.

For more information on how to appeal an assessment, including important dates, visit the assessor's Web site , call the office at (916) 875-0700 or drop by the office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at at 3701 Power Inn Road, Suite 3000.

January 29, 2009
California crime: One of state's largest cockfighting rings broken up

One of the largest cockfighting operations in the state was broken up Wednesday in Nipomo, the Tribune in San Luis Obispo reports.

Sheriff's officials assisted by the Humane Society of the United States found some 1,000 birds by Wednesday evening at a large piece of property, according to Eric Sakach, chief response officer of the humane society.

Click here for the full Tribune story.

In Sacramento County, supervisors are looking to join several other area counties in combating cockfighting.

On Jan. 13, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion to delay action on the item until April 7 on an ordinance that officials say is meant to cripple cockfighting operations.

If approved, it would require a permit to keep five or more crowing fowl. Commercial poultry producers would be exempt. The permit would be free and require owners to keep roosters in sanitary and humane conditions.

As reported in The Bee, at least one rooster owner is skeptical of the plan.

"I don't see why I should be subject to a permit," said Sharon Taylor, who keeps roosters on her Orangevale property.

Click here to read more about the proposed Sacramento County ordinance.

January 29, 2009
Crime Alert: Suspected parole violator wanted

cook   012609.jpgCalifornia Department of Corrections agents are seeking Michael William Cook on a felony no-bail arrest warrant for suspicion of violating parole, fleeing parole and failing to register as sex offenders, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

Cook (right photo) is described as age 43, 6-foot, weighing 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about Cook is urged to contact Crime Alert at (800) AA-CRIME or (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 29, 2009
Decoy picks wrong guy to buy booze during sting

From Niesha Lofing:

A Rocklin man was cited for petty theft after allegedly stealing beer and money from a minor decoy involved in a police sting operation in Rocklin.

The man agreed to purchase alcohol at the 19-year-old decoy's request, taking money from her to purchase beer, Rocklin police Sgt. Terry Roide said.

"He bought the beer and then the store clerk alerted him that the decoy was working with police," Roide said.

The man came outside and repeatedly asked the decoy if she was a cop and took off, he said.

"He took the beer and our change," Roide said. The decoy had given the man $10.

Officers caught up with Dayton Ray Hice, 46, and cited him for petty theft. He was released.

The clerk of the store was not punished for having alerted the man to the sting operation.

"They really did nothing wrong," he said. "(But) it's probably not a smart move by the clerk."

Tuesday's operation is part of a program the Rocklin, Roseville and Lincoln police departments are running in conjunction with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control to combat alcohol-related violations in south Placer County.

In the shoulder tap stings, minor decoys - who are usually 19 or older and interested in criminal justice - approach adults and tell them they aren't 21 and ask them buy alcoholic beverages.

But Tuesday's incident isn't the first time shoulder tap operations have run afoul.

During one of the first shoulder tap operations in August, officers held a sting at a Roseville grocery store. One of the men approached took the $20 the decoy offered and ran out the back of the store, Roide said.

Decoys have been propositioned for sex and been offered marijuana and other illegal drugs. One man tried to get the decoy to come to his vehicle. Officers found a ski mask and shotgun in the car, he said.

While minor decoy operations at restaurants and stores are typically more low key because they occur in more controlled environments, dealing with the public in shoulder-tap operations are unpredictable.

"You just never know," Roide said.

Police conducted the operation Tuesday at four locations in Rocklin, contacting 15 adults. Only one, Hice, was cited.

Police also conducted the operation at five locations in Lincoln, contacting 18 adults. One person purchased alcohol for the decoy and was cited for furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 years old.

The operations will continue each month through June. So far, 448 people at 49 locations have been contacted. Of those, officers have cited or arrested 30 in shoulder tap operations.

Officers also have visited 113 locations and cited 14 people in minor decoy operations.

The efforts are funded through the state Alcoholic Beverage Control grants.

January 28, 2009
Folsom man arrested on suspicion of lewd acts with a 6-year-old

012809 Hudson.pdf - Adobe Reader.JPGFrom Sandy Louey:

Folsom police have arrested a 53-year-old man on suspicion of committing lewd acts with a young girl.

Michael Hudson (photo left) of Folsom allegedly assaulted a 6-year-old girl whom he knew over the course of a year at homes in Folsom and Sacramento County, according to a press release from the Folsom Police Department.

On Tuesday, police arrested Hudson on suspicion of eight counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14.

Hudson was being held on $400,000 bail at the Sacramento County Main Jail.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, according to online jail records.

January 28, 2009
Sacramento police seek serial bank robber

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police are looking for help to catch a serial bank robber believed to be behind more than a dozen heists in Northern California.

The latest one was Jan. 13 at the Bank of America at 3645 North Freeway Boulevard. The robber (photo below) used a note to demand money from the teller.

He said he had a gun, but none was seen, police said.

Police said a witness saw the man leave in a newer dark green sports utility vehicle, possibly a Jeep Cherokee.

Sgt. Norm Leong said police believe the man is responsible for 12 bank robberies that took place between Oct. 3, 2008 and Jan. 6, 2009 - five in Placer County, one in Citrus Heights and six in the Bay Area.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5-foot-5-inches to 5-foot-7-inches tall and 190 to 200 pounds.

He had dark red or brown short hair and an unshaven face or goatee. He wore a black baseball hat, blue denim jacket, a light gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, police said.

A witness reported seeing a black-and-red star on the left side of his neck.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and earn up to a $1,000 reward.

January 28, 2009
Placer County alcohol sting to continue through June

From Ramon Coronado:

An ongoing undercover operation in south Placer County has resulted in the arrest or issuance of citations to 30 adults for furnishing alcohol to minors.

Called Operation Shoulder Tap, the undercover stings, some of them using decoys, will continue until June. It is funded with an $87,500 grant from state licensing fees collected by the Alcohol Beverage Control.

Since July, officers from the Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin police departments have targeted adults and businesses in their cities that buy or sell alcohol to minors.

In those arrests using decoys, the operatives were just under the legal age limit and were truthful about their age when they approached the adults, said Rocklin Sgt. Terry Roide.

On Tuesday, a decoy contacted 15 adults at four locations in Rocklin to purchase alcohol. After one adult made the purchase, the adult stole the alcohol from the minor.

The adult was cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor and petty theft.

At five locations in Lincoln, a decoy contacted 18 adults and one person was cited.

Police are attempting to hold at least two operations each month and Roseville will be targeted in February.

As of Tuesday, officers have contacted a total of 448 individuals at 49 locations in the three cities.

January 28, 2009
About 200 attend services for K9 unit's dog

Ado.JPGFrom Kim Minugh:

Even the dogs sounded sad.

Nearly 200 people gathered this morning at the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's Memorial Garden in Carmichael to bid farewell to Ado, the canine who was killed in the line of duty Jan. 18.

The crowd included K9 teams from across Northern California. Some handlers wore black mourning bands across their badges.

As speakers eulogized the 5-year-old German shepherd (photo left), whimpering and barking filled the cold morning air. Ado's four-legged colleagues on the sheriff's K9 unit, perched atop a hill behind the Memorial Garden with their solemn handlers, shifted restlessly.

Deputy Rick Kemp, a sheriff's K9 handler, described Ado as a "kind soul" who could go from gently licking children's faces to catching a criminal. He said the dog loved to work and raced his handler, Deputy Anthony Jenkins, to their patrol car.

"Ado touched many lives," Kemp said.

Jenkins and Ado were a team for three years before the dog's death. The deputy said the loss has been difficult.

"It's hard when I wake up in the morning to go to work," Jenkins said. "Seeing his kennel empty, not hearing his bark or his heavy tail wagging is rough."

His son, 16-year-old JaMar, said he shares his father's sadness.

"It's kind of like part of the family is missing," he said.

On the night Ado was killed, Jenkins was working as a patrol deputy on overtime. He got permission to bring along Ado because the dog had been home all day, said sheriff's K9 Sgt. Donna Goncalves.

The team responded to a reported carjacking of an elderly man. Jenkins spotted the stolen vehicle, which stopped in the parking lot of an apartment complex near 47th Avenue and 54th Street.

The suspects fled the vehicle, and Jenkins and Ado gave chase.

Ado was struck and killed by a passing motorist as he sprinted after one of the suspects across 47th Avenue.

Detectives later identified the suspects and arrested them after they again tried to flee, Curran said. Phillip Worsham, 18, was booked on charges of robbery, carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon because the elderly man had been beaten during the carjacking, Curran said.

A 16-year-old male juvenile was booked on charges of robbery, carjacking, resisting arrest and elderly abuse.

The driver who struck Ado is not facing charges, Curran said.

During his three-year career as a sheriff's K9, Ado assisted in the apprehension of more than 200 suspects, Goncalves said. That includes suspects who surrendered at the threat of Ado's bite, and those who Ado caught himself.

"He was a good dog," Jenkins said.

January 28, 2009
Bee offers crime logs by cities and counties

Bee offers searchable crime logs

From Bee Staff:

Bee readers can now search a new crime logs to see who has been arrested, and why, in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yolo counties. Readers can search for recent arrests in any of 18 cities in the region.

To view the crime logs, click here.

January 28, 2009
Harley-Davidson folks help capture, handcuff escaped inmate

todd david captured.jpgFrom Sandy Louey and Chelsea Phua:

Placer County authorities have captured an inmate who escaped this morning during a medical appointment in Auburn - thanks to some folks at a Harley-Davidson dealership.

The helpful people at Harley even handcuffed the escapee.

David Lee Todd (photo left), who was wearing an orange jumpsuit, was taken into custody around 12:45 p.m. at the Auburn Harley-Davidson, 12075 Locksley Lane near Highway 49, said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

Todd had run from a Tires Plus employee onto the grounds of the Harley-Davidson dealership. He gave up after being surrounded by eight employees and customers, one of whom had a pair of handcuffs that were used on Todd, she said.

Todd, 49, escaped after he was transported from the Placer County Jail to the Auburn Imaging Center on Professional Drive for a medical appointment, Erwin said.

He was being wheeled into the center after complaining of pain from a fall. In the middle of the appointment, Todd, who was in custody for multiple burglary and robbery charges, bolted from the wheelchair and ran out of the center about 9:45 a.m., Erwin said.

He pushed a woman in the parking lot out of her Dodge Durango and took off in it. The woman was not injured, Erwin said.

Deputies found the vehicle about a mile away on Park Drive.

Authorities said more than 40 sheriff's employees, including K-9 teams, a helicopter, and the California Highway Patrol helicopter, were involved in the morning-long hunt.

Todd, who had been in custody since Dec. 9 on charges of robbery and a burglary warrant, was taken back to the Auburn jail. He faces additional charges of escape, carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon, battery on a peace officer and car theft, the Sheriff's Department said.

On Nov. 21, Todd was caught on videotape kicking in the door and burglarizing the pro shop at the Raspberry Hill Golf Course on Musso Road in Auburn, investigators said. He allegedly stole candy from the shop.

January 28, 2009
'Grandma' phone scam targeting Redding area

From Niesha Lofing:

Over the past few months, several residents in the Redding area have received calls from scammers claiming to be a relative in trouble. The con artist asks the victim to send money to help, according to a Redding police news release.

There are several variations of the scam, but the most common one involves a late-night phone call from someone who starts the conversation by saying something similar to "Hi Grandma. Guess who this is?" the release states.

When the victim uses the name of one of their grandchildren, the caller pretends to be that person and asks for money.

In several cases, the scammer says they have been arrested and need bail money. The caller is always out of the area and needs money right away, the release states.

Victims are asked to send money through Western Union or MoneyGram. If they caller says they need money for bail, they say they have a friend who will pick up the money.

Sometimes the caller will put another person on the phone who claims to be a law enforcement officer or jailer.

The money is sent out of the country in the majority of the cases, the release states.

Redding police offer the following suggestions to avoid becoming a victim:

• If you get a call from someone saying "Guess who this is," respond with "I don't know. Who is it?"

• If the caller knows your name and the name of the person they are claiming to be, confirm their identity by asking personal questions like their birth date, mother's name and the name of the street where they lived as a child.

• If they say they are in jail or at a police station, ask which one and the phone number so you can call back. Use directory assistance or the Internet to confirm the phone number and call back if needed.

• Call the parents of the person they are claiming to be and confirm the caller's whereabouts.

Police also suggest using extreme caution when sending money by Western Union or MoneyGram.

For more information, call the police department's crime prevention unit at (530) 225-4209.

January 28, 2009
Crime Alert: Sacramento Police seek identity theft suspect

unknown 09-006  012609.jpgSacramento Police financial crimes detectives are seeking information leading to the identity of a suspect wanted in a series of identity theft crimes, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

The suspect (left photo) has been seen on several retail stores' video cameras conducting transactions using victims bank information and names.

Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to contact Crime Alert at (800) AA-CRIME or (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 28, 2009
Watt Avenue sting nets suspected prostitutes, johns

From Stan Oklobdzija:

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department made 73 arrests during a six-day prostitution sweep on the 4600 block of Watt Avenue ending Jan. 23, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Of that 73, 48 were fresh prostitution cases and six were felony arrests, said Sgt. Tim Curran, the sheriff's spokesman. Fourteen people arrested were cited with soliciting a prostitute, and the remaining suspects were arrested for prostitution, Curran said.

In addition, eight men were arrested in a john sting Friday night at a Motel 6 on Watt Avenue in North Highlands, sheriff's reports state.

The sting used female deputies to pose as prostitutes in front of the motel on the 4600 block of Watt Avenue, the reports said. The deputies negotiated prices for various sexual acts with the customers, who then were taken into a hotel room where they were arrested, the report said.

The suspected johns charged with soliciting a prostitute and loitering to solicit prostitution on Jan. 23 were:

• Eduard Sus, 29

• Howard Moore, 24

• Reynaldo Velasco, 21

• Carlos Vasquez, 40

• Don Torres, 40

• A 17-year-old male juvenile

• Melvyn Crews, 42

• Patrick Ow, 57

January 28, 2009
Police seek Woodland burglary information

From Niesha Lofing:

Police are looking for information about a recent burglary at a Woodland store.

Police were called at 5:30 a.m. Monday to Sterling May at 209 West Main Street for a commercial burglary alarm activation, Sgt. Frank Ritter stated in a news release.

Officers discovered that the front door had been forced open and $13,000 worth of power equipment was stolen.

Among the items taken were several different models of Honda generators and a STIHL saw, said police Sgt. Don Beal.

"Electrical generators can run just about anything from RVs to homes," he said. "They are very versatile, and they can be used by just about anybody."

Sterling May, which has been in business since 1946, specializes in all-terrain vehicle sales and other power equipment.

Police are asking anyone with additional information about the case to call the department at (530) 666-2411 or (530) 661-7800.

January 28, 2009
Grants boost several law enforcement agencies

From Niesha Lofing:

Several Northern California law enforcement agencies have received federal grants to purchase new equipment and continue drunken driving enforcement measures.

The Davis and Redding police departments each received grants from the Office of Traffic Safety in conjunction with their Avoid anti-DUI campaign efforts. The departments will administer the grant funding for their respective counties, according to news releases from both departments.

The Davis Police Department received a $291,404 grant, the Redding Police Department $331,078.

The money will fund activities targeting DUI offenders, drivers with suspended or revoked licenses and repeat drunken drivers with warrants or on probation or parole, the releases state.

Activities include sobriety checkpoints, multi-agency DUI task force operations, saturation patrols and warrant and probation sweeps.

Grant funding comes from the state Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In Yolo County, agencies participating in the "Avoid the 8" task force include Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, Woodland and UC Davis police departments, along with the Yolo County sheriff's and probation departments, the Yolo County Communications Emergency Services Agency and the California Highway Patrol.

In Shasta County, agencies participating in the "Avoid the Five" task force include the Redding and Anderson police departments, Shasta County sheriff's and probation departments and the California Highway Patrol, the release states.

January 27, 2009
Florin area home-invasion robber sought

5clip_image002.jpgFrom Kim Minugh:

Authorities are asking the public's help in finding the suspect in a home invasion robbery in the Florin neighborhood earlier this month.

Two elderly victims were tied up and their home ransacked Jan. 14 when an unknown suspect broke into their home on Wente Way, Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran wrote in a news release.

The suspect stole items from the victims including their car, which was later found near by, the release states.

The victims were not injured.

The suspect (artist's sketch left) is described as a white or Hispanic male in his 30s with a muscular build, between 5-foot-8-inches and 5-foot-11-inches tall, the release states. He had short brown hair and a thin mustache.

Anyone with information about the suspect's identity or whereabouts is asked to call the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 27, 2009
Placer cops: Pair arrested after return to scene of crime

west john t.jpg
sorensen ashley.jpgFrom Sandy Louey:

Placer County Sheriff's deputies arrested a pair who allegedly returned to the scene of their crime in Ophir.

John T. West of Sacramento (far left photo) and Ashley Sorensen (left photo) of Auburn were arrested Sunday on suspicion of grand theft and conspiracy for stealing two tires and rims off a car parked in a driveway on Geraldson Road in Ophir, Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the sheriff's department said in a press release on Tuesday.

The two 20-year-olds had driven by the home a short time after taking the tires to "see if the lady had called the cops," the release said.

The victim had notified authorities. A deputy standing in the driveway taking a report saw a vehicle similar to the one seen in the area earlier, authorities said.

The deputy found the couple's Geo parked in a nearby mobile home park with two Toyota tires and rims. West and Sorensen were booked at the Placer County jail, Erwin said.

January 27, 2009
Folsom woman convicted in fatal hit-and-run

From Sandy Louey:

A 52-year-old Folsom woman was found guilty Tuesday in the hit-and-run death of a 15-year-old Granite Bay teenager who was walking on the side of Auburn Folsom Road.

Prosecutor Jeff Wilson said a Placer County jury found Anna Elvira Berset guilty on the charges of hit-and-run driving causing death and vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

Berset could face up to four years for the conviction. She is scheduled to be sentenced March 24, Wilson said.

Courtney Parker, a Granite Bay High School student and former cheerleader, was killed in the June 13, 2007 incident.

Wilson said he hoped the guilty verdict in the case will help the Parker family.

"I was glad to see they got the justice they deserved," he said.

Parker was with a group of girls at a fast-food restaurant on the night of the accident. The girls had left the restaurant, but she turned around to get the cell phone she had forgotten.

A vehicle struck her as she walked on the side of Auburn-Folsom Road near Douglas Boulevard in Granite Bay. One of her friends found her on the side of the road.

A California Highway Patrol officer had testified during Berset's preliminary hearing that Berset called June 14 to report she had hit something on Auburn Folsom Road the previous night, but that it might have been a trash can or deer or perhaps a rock thrown at her by kids.

Officers who went to her home found damage to the hood, headlight and windshield of her 2002 Toyota RAV4.

Berset's son, Joshua Sanguinetti, spent four years in prison for a fatal-and-run in 1999 on Auburn Folsom Road.

January 27, 2009
Suspect sought in midtown rape on Sunday

From Kim Minugh:

A woman was sexually assaulted early Sunday morning in a parking lot near a busy Midtown intersection, according to Sacramento police.

She was walking on K Street between 19th and 20th streets about 1 a.m. when an unknown suspect grabbed her, pulled her into a parking lot and sexually assaulted her, said police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong.

He would not discuss details of the assault, except to say that it was "violent."

The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s, about 5-foot-9-inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds, Leong said. He had a medium build, light brown hair and was wearing a black beanie.

Leong said the incident is a reminder that crime happens even in places that otherwise feel safe.

"It's important to remember to be cognizant of your surroundings," Leong said. "If you're going to walk at night, even if it's in a busy area, try to bring a friend along."

January 27, 2009
Murder suspect admits lie on witness stand

From Andy Furillo:

Accused murderer Jonathan Andrew Hampton admitted today that he lied to police about handling a gun at his girlfriend's house the day before the Feb. 15, 2007, shooting death of Jonathan Paul Giurbino.

Hampton testified in court that he moved the silver handgun with the black grip from one bedroom to another, but he denied to police during the investigation into Giurbino's homicide that he knew anything about the weapon.

"You lied, right?" Deputy District Attorney Kevin Greene asked.

"I was under a lot of pressure," Hampton responded.

The issue of the gun is crucial in the trial because Hampton testified Monday that Giurbino brought his own gun along during a drug deal and that the defendant obtained it from the victim and shot him dead during a botched drug transaction.

Forensic tests never determined what weapon was used in the killing. Greene has sought to establish that Hampton had access to a gun and that he could have brought it along during his encounter with Giurbino.

Besides hammering Hampton today about his lie during the police interview, Greene also questioned the defendant about his failed efforts to keep the girlfriend, Tiano Robinson, from testifying about it at trial.

In letters to the girlfriend's brother who also was in custody that he had "kited" to the recipient through unauthorized jailhouse letters, Hampton asked for somebody to kidnap the young woman so she would not be able to testify at trial.

"If she comes, she's questioning my acquittal," Hampton said in one of the notes. He agreed under cross-examination by Green that Robinson's testimony was crucial to the case.

Hampton testified Monday that Giurbino had tried to rob him while the two were driving to meet somebody who was going to sell them large quantities of the psychedelic drug Ecstasy.

Hampton said Giurbino lost control of the gun during the robbery and hat the weapon fell into his own lap. Hampton said Giurbino lunged at him in the car and that he shot the victim while telling him to "watch out."

Greene's cross-examination was cut short by the afternoon recess today before he could question Hampton about the details of the shooting. Hampton's testimony continues Wednesday in Sacramento Superior Court.

January 27, 2009
Ex-Placer County deputy convicted in 26-year-old slaying of wife

From Sam Stanton and Chelsea Phua:

All through the years, Paul R. Kovacich Jr. maintained he knew nothing about his wife's disappearance in 1982.

For most of that time, he refused to discuss the case – except to argue in legal filings that Janet Kovacich wasn't really dead, even though no one had seen her since she vanished from the couple's Auburn home Sept. 8, 1982, following an argument with her husband.

On Tuesday, a Placer County jury decided Kovacich, a Placer County sheriff's sergeant at the time of the disappearance, had been lying all along and convicted him of first-degree murder.

"It's a 26-year-old case, and I am absolutely overjoyed that the jury saw what people in the community had known for years," said David Tellman, the 41-year-old prosecutor who took over the case in 2008 after fellow prosecutor Daniel Gong became ill.

Kovacich, 60, who was indicted in 2006, faces 25 years to life in prison for a crime that many thought would never be solved.

He made no outward sign of emotion when the verdict was read, other than bowing his head slightly, said Art Campos, a former Bee reporter who had covered the case and sat through parts of the trial.

The conviction came after four months of trial, 77 witnesses and 750 exhibits. Kovacich never took the stand in the case, which relied largely on circumstantial evidence.

The 12 jurors left through a side door as court wrapped up, and Kovacich was handcuffed and taken to jail pending his next hearing.

But an alternate juror, Beverly Copren, told Campos afterward that she agreed with the verdict and that the extremely complicated threads of evidence had been tied together neatly during Tellman's closing argument.

Tellman was not present for the verdict; he was on a family vacation at Disneyland. But co-prosecutor Suzanne Gazzaniga and investigator Noah Brommeland were in court.

Defense attorney John Spurling indicated that he would seek a dismissal of the verdict, and a hearing for that motion was set for Feb. 20 by Judge Mark S. Curry.

For part of the trial, Kovacich's daughter, Kristi, who was 7 at the time of her mother's disappearance, waited to testify. She took the stand in the final days of the trial but was not present Tuesday.

Janet Kovacich's older brother Gary Gregoire had testified for the prosecution and said from his Colorado home Tuesday that he was "very happy that we've got justice for Janet."

He declined to speak further, saying he was not certain whether he remained under a gag order imposed by the court in 2006.

The verdict ends a mystery that has haunted authorities since Janet Kovacich, then 27 and the mother of two young children, disappeared.

At the time, Paul Kovacich claimed he and his wife had been discussing a separation, and that he left the home after an argument.

The two children said they last saw their mother when they left for school at 8 a.m.

Kovacich would later tell Auburn police detectives that when he returned to the home around noon she was gone. But his behavior, especially for a law enforcement officer, seemed curious at the time.

She had disappeared on a Wednesday, but Kovacich didn't mention it to anyone until Thursday, when he told a police sergeant that his wife was gone but he did not want to file a missing person report.

Two days later, Kovacich called his mother-in-law and asked, "Is Janet there? I've got a couple of squalling, crying kids here."

The case dragged on, with detectives searching the Auburn home, as well as the home of Kovacich's elderly parents at one point.

Kovacich remained with the Sheriff's Department until 1992. In January 1995, over his objections, a judge declared his wife dead and said she died the day of her disappearance.

The case began to come together 10 months later, when a man walking along Rollins Lake in Colfax found a partial human skull nearly buried in dry silt near a boat ramp.

DNA testing about a decade later indicated that the skull probably belonged to Janet Kovacich. It had a hole behind the right ear that prosecutors believed was a bullet hole.

Kovacich was charged with murder and appeared in court for his arraignment on Sept. 8, 2006, 24 years to the day after her disappearance.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that the couple's marriage was on the rocks, that there was a "preponderance of evidence of domestic violence" in their lives and that Janet Kovacich was planning to leave her abusive husband.

He allegedly kicked their dog, a German shepherd, to death. Prosecutors contended he pushed her off a boat once, yanked her from a movie theater and insulted her in front of friends.

"Sept. 8, 1982, was to be the first day of Janet's new life," Tellman said during the trial, adding that she had decided to move her children to a new school and had begun taking classes that summer.

"She was ripped from the lives of so many people," Tellman said in his closing statement. "Only one person stood to gain so much, one person with a motive to make her disappear. And that person was the defendant Paul Kovacich."

Spurling, the defense attorney, argued that his client was not guilty. He called on the Kovacichs' now-grown daughter Kristi, and on Paul Kovacich's longtime girlfriend (also a former Placer County sheriff's deputy) as witnesses.

He criticized the investigation as "slipshod," saying the prosecution relied on "rumors, innuendos and speculation."

He pointed out that no murder weapon was ever found, and presented expert witnesses who testified that they could not say with certainty that the hole in the skull was formed by a bullet.

And Spurling portrayed Janet Kovacich as a troubled, high-strung and emotional young woman who trusted her husband.

In journal entries written the year before she disappeared, she wrote that he was a special person who always put the children first.

"I am so lucky to have you to lean on and count on," she wrote.

January 27, 2009
Lodi police arrest man in shooting

From Sandy Louey:

Lodi police arrested a 33-year-old man Tuesday for allegedly shooting a man in the head and arm after he broke into the victim's home.

At 7 a.m., two people were passing by the 200 block of Tokay Street when they saw a man in the street bleeding from his head, Officer Dale Eubanks said in a press release.

Joshua Hattam, 36, had gunshot wounds to his head and left forearm. He was conscious and provided police with the alleged shooter's name, who was an acquaintance, police said.

Police spotted the suspect, Stephen Schleimer, driving a vehicle. Schleimer was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide.

Hattam was listed as serious condition at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Eubanks said.

Eubanks said police are investigating why Schleimer broke into Hattam's home and shot him.

January 27, 2009
Traffic stop results in arrests for pirated DVDs, CDs

From Sandy Louey:

Hundreds of pirated movie DVDs and music CDs were found in a pickup truck stopped for vehicle code violations in Williams Monday.

At 2:35 p.m., an officer with the Williams Police Department stopped a tan Chevrolet pickup truck on northbound Interstate 5 north of Freshwater Road, according to a press release.

Officers found 605 movie DVDs and 286 music CDs during a search of the truck. They were pirated since many weren't in theatres nor released to the public.

A K-9 officer also helped find less an ounce of marijuana in the truck, police said.

The three Fairfield men in the truck - driver Jesus Salazar Pineda, 28, and passengers Juan Aguirre-Lopez, 40, and Jaime Cairo, 36 - were arrested on suspicion of possession of pirated disks and marijuana, police said.

Aguirre-Lopez was also arrested on suspicion of providing a false name to officers, police said.

Police said the trio, who were booked into the Colusa County jail, didn't have valid driver licenses or other identification.

Williams is about 58 miles north of downtown Sacramento.

January 27, 2009
Update: Elk Grove police arrest bank robbery suspect

From Sandy Louey and Niesha Lofing:

Elk Grove police arrested a 20-year-old Sacramento man for allegedly robbing a bank Tuesday.

Donnell Slaughter was arrested on suspicion of robbery, Elk Grove police Officer Christopher Trim said. A search of Slaughter's home in the 6500 block of Sunnyfield Way found evidence linking him to the robbery, Trim said.

Trim said police had detained two men. Surveillance photos from the bank were obtained and one of the men matched the photos even though his clothes had changed.

An unarmed man robbed the Bank of America inside the Save Mart at 7707 Laguna Boulevard about 12:09 p.m., Trim said.

The man passed the bank teller a note demanding cash. He got away with cash, Trim said.

Officers called off the search for the robber around 2 p.m. The search had been centered on the neighborhoods in the North Laguna Creek area, including the areas near Starburst Way and Sunnyfield Way.

January 27, 2009
CHP pushes for designated drivers on Super Bowl Sunday

From Niesha Lofing:

Super Bowl Sunday often means enjoying the big game with friends and beer, but the California Highway Patrol is hoping football fans also plan to use designated drivers.

Last year, 12 people were killed and 167 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in California on Super Bowl Sunday, a CHP news release states.

CHP officers arrested 403 motorists for drunken driving that day.

The CHP, along with other law enforcement, will deploy special DUI patrols throughout the state Sunday, the release states.

The effort is part of the CHP's AVOID anti-DUI program.

Anyone who spots a suspected drunken driver is asked to report it to 911. Callers should be prepared to provide dispatchers with a description of the suspect vehicle, its location and direction of travel, the release states.

"A DUI is no 5-yard penalty," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow stated in the news release. "It's something that will follow you around for years to come."

January 26, 2009
Missing mountain bikers found

From Sandy Louey:

Three missing mountain bikers were found safe Sunday, authorities said. The Nevada County Sheriff's Department began searching for the three men Saturday night along the south fork of the Yuba River.

The men -- Mitchell Riggin, 42, of Cave Creek, Ariz.; Timothy Hueckel, 41, of Durham; and Steven Kemp, 34, of Sparks, Nev. -- left Relief Hill Road on mountain bikes Saturday afternoon. Riggin's wife called authorities after the group was overdue at the pickup point, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Department.

Searchers were concerned because of the snow and rain conditions in the area. A search team of hikers found the three men Sunday morning, the Sheriff's Department said.

The men were found about two miles upstream from Edwards Crossing on the South Yuba trail. They had decided to spend the night in the woods when it became too dark to continue Saturday night, authorities said.

The Sheriff's Department said all three were cold, but no one needed medical attention.

January 26, 2009
Ex-husband arrested in woman's slaying

From Kim Minugh

Sacramento County sheriff's homicide detectives have arrested a 38-year-old man in connection with the 2007 slaying of his ex-wife, whose body he allegedly dumped in a ditch, according to authorities.

Augustine Munoz, 38, was arrested Monday at the Sacramento County main jail, where he had been in custody since November 2007, when the body of Jill Alamo, 42, was found, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran. At the time of Alamo's killing, Munoz was out of jail on bail charged with violating a domestic violence restraining order, Curran said.

His bail was revoked after Alamo's body was found and he was identified as a "person of interest."

Munoz also faces two felony counts of domestic violence, according to jail booking records.

A neighbor reported Alamo missing in late October 2007. Deputies found signs of forced entry and a struggle in her home. Nine days later, her body was discovered in a ditch in the 9900 block of Elder Creek Road.

Munoz is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

January 26, 2009
Man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies in Fair Oaks identified

From Kim Minugh and Ed Fletcher:

The man shot and killed Saturday by two Sacramento County sheriff's deputies has been identified by the Coroner's Office as 32-year-old Zachary Thomas Luning. Coroner's officials listed Luning as a transient, but sheriff's department officials said he was last known to live in Roseville.

Luning was shot early Saturday outside his ex-girlfriend's home in the 7200 block of Gail Way in Fair Oaks, according to the sheriff's department.

The 40-year-old woman had called 911 that morning to report that her ex-boyfriend was violating a restraining order she had against him by being at her home, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran. She reported that the man was armed with a fireplace poker and a knife.

Two deputies responded and were confronted by the man in the front yard, Curran said. He was carrying a knife and "aggressively advanced" toward the deputies, prompting them to fire multiple rounds at the man. The deputies - a 19-year veteran and a 5 1/2-year veteran - performed CPR until paramedics arrived and pronounced the man dead at the scene.

As is routine in officer-involved shootings, the deputies have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the sheriff's homicide and internal affairs units and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

January 26, 2009
16-year-old arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in Woodland

From Sandy Louey:

Woodland police have arrested a 16-year-old boy for allegedly sexually assaulting a girl.

At 7:37 a.m. Saturday, police were dispatched to Woodland Memorial Hospital for an assault report. A 14-year-old Woodland girl told police that an acquaintance had sexually assaulted her earlier in the morning. She was treated for multiple injuries, including a fractured ankle, Sgt. Heath Parsons said in a news release.

In the early morning hours Saturday, the girl had left a party and gotten a ride home from the boy. The boy drove to the area of Community Lane and Lincoln Avenue, where he sexually assaulted the girl in the vehicle, police said.

Police said the girl was driven to an unknown location in Yolo County. She opened the vehicle door and jumped out, which is how she injured her ankle. A citizen took her to the hospital.

The boy, also of Woodland, was identified and arrested Saturday on suspicion of rape, kidnapping and false imprisonment, Parsons said.

Anyone with information about the case, including the unidentified person who took the girl to the hospital, is asked to call the police department's investigations division at (530) 661-7874.

January 26, 2009
Traffic violation stop leads to six arrests in Roseville

mickles_mark2_s.jpg devoy2_david_l.jpg estep2_amber_d.jpg

moar2_justin_c.jpg ammons_alicia2_m.jpg mott2_doris_v.jpg

From Sandy Louey:

A traffic violation on Sunday night led Roseville police to make six arrests and seize drugs and weapons.

At 10:38 p.m., officers were on patrol on Sixth Street when they passed a white Chevrolet Tahoe SUV whose rear license plate was out. The driver ducked down as if to avoid being seen, said Dee Dee Gunther, spokeswoman for the Roseville police department, in a news release.

When officers made a U-turn to stop the SUV, the vehicle sped away across Riverside Avenue onto Darling Way, swerving and traveling in the wrong lane. As the SUV approached Vitale Street and Vine Way, the driver jumped out and fled, police said.

The vehicle continued and collided with some bushes before coming to a stop. One passenger was detained, while officers tracked the driver to an apartment in the 500 block of Vine Way, Gunther said.

Five people, including the driver, were inside the apartment. Methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, scales and other items associated with drug sales, prescription narcotics, a stun gun and two loaded handguns were found during a search of the apartment, police said.

Police arrested:

• Mark Steven Mikles (top left photo), the driver, age 33, of Roseville.

He was arrested on suspicion of recklessly evading a police officer, possession of controlled substances for sale, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing drugs while armed, being a felon in possession of a stun gun and violating parole.

Mikles being held without bail in the Placer County Jail.

• David Lenn Devoy (top center photo), age 45, of Roseville, on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of controlled substances for sale, possession of drugs while armed, being an accessory after the fact, providing false identification, being a felon in possession of a stun gun, a Sacramento County warrant for drug possession, and violating parole.

He is being held without bail in the county jail.

• Amber Dawn Estep (top right photo), 20, of Pollock Pines, on suspicion of being a felon or addict in possession of a firearm, possession of controlled substances and possession for sale, possession of drugs while armed and being an accessory after the fact.

Estep is being held in the county jail on $35,000 bail.

• Justin Craig Moar (bottom left photo), 27, of Placerville, on suspicion of possession of controlled substances and possession for sale, possessing drugs while armed, committing a felony while armed, unlawful possession of prescription narcotics and being an accessory after the fact.

He is being held in county jail on $40,000 bail.

• Alicia Marie Ammons (bottom center photo), 23, of Cameron Park, on suspicion of possession of controlled substances and possession for sale, possessing drugs while armed, being an accessory after the fact, and an El Dorado County warrant for failure to appear.

Ammons is being held in the county jail on $17,500 bail.

• Doris Velia Mott (bottom right photo), 21, the passenger in the SUV, was booked on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact. The North Highlands resident was released on a promise to appear in court.

January 26, 2009
Two arrested after Walgreens robbery in Elk Grove

From Sandy Louey:

Elk Grove police arrested two people on suspicion of robbing a Walgreens store over the weekend.

At 11:46 p.m. Friday, officers were called to a robbery at the store at 7299 Laguna Blvd. A witness called 911 and told police that a man had robbed the clerk and left in a newer SUV, according to a police report.

Officers saw a woman driving a newer, green Ford Explorer traveling west on Laguna near High Tech Court. Officers stopped the vehicle and detained both people in the car, police said.

Devin O. Johnson, 20, and Heidi Van Geystel, 31, were arrested on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy. Johnson was identified as the person responsible for the robbery. The knife used and the cash taken were found in the vehicle, authorities said.

January 26, 2009
Witness charges toward defendants in Sacramento court

From Andy Furillo:

A witness in a multi-defendant attempted murder case bolted toward the defendants in a courtroom outburst today before he was subdued by deputies in front of the startled judge.

Lawyers tentatively identified the man as Nathaniel Edwards. He was in court to have an attorney appointed for him in the upcoming attempted murder trial of David Griffin, Jordan Kidd, Kimberly Knorr, Lashea Merritt and Zachary Tyler.

The five are accused in the shooting of a woman who was believed to be a prostitute, attorneys said.

An attorney who was in Sacramento Superior Court to be appointed to represent Edwards credited deputies who were in the courtroom handling the in-custody defendants with keeping them from being attacked by the witness.

"The sheriffs really protected the defendants," the attorney, Chet Templeton, said. "They blocked his path and took the brunt of it. They took him down hard, but they had to."

Edwards was brought down in front of Judge Cheryl Chun Meegan, who was on the bench during the outburst.

The witness had been making threats toward the defendants before he made a run at them, witnesses said. They said he was removed from the courtroom for awhile, then came back in after he calmed down -- right before he raced toward the defendants who were seated in the jury box.

January 26, 2009
Pedroia's older brother accused of child molestation

From Kim Minugh:

A 30-year-old Woodland resident was arrested earlier this month for alleged sexual activity with a minor four years ago, according to authorities.

Brett Philip Pedroia was arrested Jan. 9 on two counts of oral copulation and lewd acts with a child under the age of 14, all felonies, according to a Woodland Police Department news release. His arrest warrant was issued by the Yolo County Superior Court based on an investigation by Woodland detectives, the release states.

Pedroia was booked into the Yolo County Jail with bail set at $50,000.

The alleged acts occurred about four years ago, but the victim only recently told his parents, who contacted authorities, according to the release.

Pedroia is the older brother of Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was named American League Most Valuable Player for 2008.

January 26, 2009
Crime Alert: Man suspected of possessing controlled substance

mitchell   011909.jpgThe Sacramento Police Department is seeking Willie Mitchell (left photo) on a felony $15,000 bail arrest warrant for suspicion of possessing a controlled substance, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

Mitchell is described as age 38, 5-foot-11, weighing 225 pounds with black hair and black eyes. He was last known to live in the 2200 block of Northfield Drive in the South Natomas area of Sacramento, authorities said.

Anyone with information about Mitchell is urged to contact Crime Alert at (800) AA-CRIME or (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 25, 2009
Folsom teen arrested in graffiti spray-paint case

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism after spray-painted graffiti resulted in more than $10,000 in damage, Folsom police said.

The Folsom teen was arrested Thursday by detectives at his home. Police suspect the teen spray-painted graffiti at least 25 times, targeting homes, businesses and vehicles.

The vandalism occurred between Dec. 14, 2008 and Jan. 21, 2009.

The teen was released from police custody and will be summoned to a hearing on the charges by Sacramento County Juvenile Probation, according to a police statement.

-- Bee staff

January 25, 2009
Natomas snapshot: Police report most crimes decrease in 2008

Sacramento Police Capt. Daniel Hahn shares updated crime statistics with Natomas residents via Robslist, a listserv about crime in that area:

I have attached the crime stats for 2008. Keep in mind these are preliminary crime stats and they are subject to slight changes. They should not change significantly, so they are good to see trends in our neighborhoods. They include a comparison of each month of 2008 to each month of 2007. Here are some items from the chart:

Police Beat 1A (North Natomas)

• Burglaries (residential, business & vehicle) all went down for 2008- 19-28%

• Stolen cars went down 39%

• Felony assaults (with and without firearms) went down.

• Robberies (unspecified) went up 61% (26 to 42)

Police Beat 1B (South Natomas)

• Burglaries (residential, business & vehicle) all went down for 2008 - 19-31%

• Stolen vehicles went down 45%

• Robberies (unspecified) went down 14%

• Felony assaults (no fire arm) went up 12%

Police Beat 1C (Gardenland/Northgate)

• Residential burglaries went up 6% (130 to 138)

• Business and vehicle burglaries went down, 20-26%

• Stolen cars went down 56%

• Robberies (unspecified) went down 22%

• Felony assaults (no firearm and w/ a firearm) went down.

January 23, 2009
Woman sentenced to 6-plus years over baby's death

From Chelsea Phua:

A Granite Bay mother who was accused of drowning her 8-day-old daughter in a bathroom sink has been sentenced to six years and four months, including a minimum of six months spent at a psychiatric facility, prosecutors said.

Kristina Lynn Fuelling pleaded guilty to a murder count earlier, but a judge ruled later that she was not guilty by reason of insanity, Placer County Acting Assistant District Attorney Scott Owens said.

She was sentenced to five years for attempted murder and one year and four months for child endangerment, charges stemming from several incidents that occurred a few days before authorities said she killed her baby on Jan. 20, 2008.

Tom Johnson, Fuelling's attorney, said a judge will formally send his client to Patton State Hospital on Jan. 27. If she is determined to be sane after six months, she will serve the rest of her sentence in a state prison, and could be out in four years and 2 months, Johnson said.

Doctors have determined that Fuelling was suffering from severe symptoms of Postpartum psychosis when she killed her child, Faith Fuelling.

The symptoms include hallucinations, delusional thinking and delirium.

Owens said Fuelling acted out of character. Family members have described her as loving, calm and good-natured and said she had looked forward to motherhood.

"We were happy that the court recognized the depth of her illness," Johnson said. "Postpartum depression is a real illness and Ms. Fuelling was overwhelmed by it. The family is still in mourning over the death of Faith Fuelling."

January 23, 2009
Police find man dead after barricading himself in apartment


Photo by Andy Alfaro, Sacramento Bee

From Stan Oklobdzija and Kim Minugh:

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies found a man dead tonight in a Rancho Cordova apartment where he'd barricaded himself after a woman was shot.

Deputies had evacuated part of the apartment complex at 11070 Hirschfeld Way and surrounded it after a 28-year-old man shot a woman in the shoulder with a small caliber handgun about 5:15 p.m., said sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran. The woman was transported to a hospital with injuries that do not appear life-threatening, Curran said.

A police robot was sent into the apartment around 8:10 p.m. and the man's body was found, deputies reported. They believe cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Curran said it was unclear whether the gunman intentionally or accidentally shot the woman. The relationship between the dead man and the female victim was not clear to authorities.

But neighbors identified the female victim as the gunman's downstairs neighbor who they said had threatened to report him to Child Protective Services for his treatment of his girlfriend's child.

Beverly Wiseman, who said she is the female victim's neighbor, was in her own apartment when she heard the shots go off. "I heard a boom, boom, boom!," she said. It wasn't the first time the victim had called the police about the man, Wiseman said.

Neighbor Miyana Randall said police evacuated her and her family from their apartment shortly after the shots went off. "The cops came in with their canines and rifles," she said. "They told us to go to Mitchell (Middle School)."

The Sheriff's Department SWAT team was on the scene at about 6:30 and tried to contact the barricaded man. An hour later, they'd suited up and entered Hirschfeld Way in armored trucks.

The Sheriff's Department provides police services to Rancho Cordova under a contract.

January 23, 2009
Man ends up with 50-plus years in prison for home invasions

From Bee Staff:

A man who already has been sentenced for a home invasion robbery in Placer County was sentenced Friday to 21 years in prison for similar robberies in Folsom and Elk Grove.

Vadim Zakharchenko will serve the latest sentence consecutive to a 29-year-4-month sentence in received for a home invasion robbery in Granite Bay, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

This mean Zakharchenko's aggregate sentence is 50 years and 4 months, the DA's Office said.

Here is the way Zakharchenko's Sacramento County crimes unfolded, the DA's Office said:

On May 10, 2006, the victim answered the doorbell of her Folsom home, then forced at gunpoint to let the defendant and his accomplice enter.

The victim was bound with tape and threatened repeatedly at gunpoint while the suspects ransacked her home taking jewelry, money, and her vehicle.

She later identified Zakharchenko and his accomplice in photo and live lineups. Police also found the victim's property in the defendant's home, as well as clothing matching her description of what the suspect wore.

On May 22, 2006, a second victim was in the garage at her Elk Grove home when the defendant and an accomplice approached her from behind and ordered her inside at gunpoint.

The suspects tied her up together with her husband and daughter. They ransacked the house for jewelry, money, and electronics then fled in the victim's vehicle.

January 23, 2009
Man to stand trial in meat cleaver deaths of neighbor woman, toddler

From Andy Furillo

A Sacramento judge today ordered a man to stand trial in the deaths of a neighbor woman and her 3-year-old son who were hacked to death with a meat cleaver four years ago.

Lalesh Kumar, 35, could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering Virginia Pulido, 33, and her little boy, Ramiro.

Kumar was bound over for trial by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard following a brief preliminary hearing.

Only one witness testified at the hearing. Sacramento police Det. Thomas Patrick Higgins recounted the statements of the two patrol officers who responded to the June 11, 2005, attack on Pulido and her son in the 2900 block of South Meadows Place, near Florin Road and 29th Street.

Higgins said the officers, Paul Fong and Kristine Rich, found the two victims bloodied in an apartment unit while a man later identified as Kumar jumped out a window and fled on foot.

The officers chased Kumar down in the apartment complex and shot, Tasered and beat the suspect with police batons after he came at them with the meat cleaver and refused to give it up once he was subdued.

Higgins testified that Kumar had implored the officers to "kill me."

Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet did not put on any evidence that offered a motive to the slaying. But in hearsay testimony that the judge struck from the record, Higgins said that a man told officers that the Pulido family "was making too much noise" and had been "disturbing" Kumar's parents in the apartment building.

Kumar had been placed on mental health holds prior to the homicides, according to police accounts in the days after the deaths of the Pulidos.

January 23, 2009
Roseville police link Craigslist scam to 4 states

1iacolino_anthony_vicenzo.jpgFrom Niesha Lofing:

Investigators say they believe a Roseville man's alleged Craigslist scam is linked to frauds in four states.

Anthony Vincenzo Iacolino (photo left), 27, allegedly placed an ad on the Internet classified advertising Web site's Seattle listings in October, offering an Apple MacBook for sale, Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said.

A Seattle couple contacted Iacolino about buying the laptop, and he promised to ship it as soon as he received payment, Gunther said.

The victims paid Iacolino using an electronic fund transfer, and Iacolino allegedly e-mailed them a phony tracking number for their shipment. They never received the laptop, Gunther said.

The couple reported the incident to Roseville police.

Detectives arrested Iacolino on suspicion of grand theft on Jan. 13 at his home.

He was booked into the Roseville Police Department Jail and released on a $5,000 bail bond, she said.

Police continue to investigate, saying they believe additional victims are in Washington, Texas, Colorado and southern California and are continuing to investigate the case.

Gunther said people who think they are victims of fraud in cases of Internet purchases can contact local police or the police in the jurisdiction where the crime is alleged to have occurred.

Gunther said a good tip for protecting oneself is to deal with local sellers and buyers and exchange money and goods in a public place instead of at a private home.

"Buyer beware -- the Internet's the Wild West," she said.

Craigslist also offers several tips on avoiding scams, including the following:

• Never give out financial information, such as your bank account or PayPal information.

• Fake cashier's checks and money orders are common.

• Be aware that Craigslist does not guarantee transactions.

January 23, 2009
Large class of CHP cadets to become officers today

From Chelsea Phua:

One hundred and seventy-eight California Highway Patrol cadets will be sworn in as officers today.

The class is the second largest to graduate in the Academy's history and includes immigrants, people who relocated from other states and soldiers who have served in combat, CHP officials said.

Family members will pin the badges on the graduates in a ceremony at the CHP academy in West Sacramento at 3500 Reed Avenue. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and last one hour.

Business, Transportation and Housing Agency Secretary Dale Bonner is expected to deliver the graduation address.

January 22, 2009
Rocklin police arrest pair in $4,500 home burglary

1clip_image002.jpgFrom Sandy Louey:

Rocklin police arrested two men Thursday for allegedly burglarizing a home where more than $4,500 in personal property was taken, financial elder abuse and conspiracy.

Arrested were Russell Gillett, 24, (photo left) and Bryce Nutt, 19.

The two Rocklin residents were being held on $25,000 bail at the Placer County jail in Auburn, according to a press release.

On Sunday, a Rocklin resident had reported his home was burglarized while he was on vacation.

On Thursday, police detectives searched Nutt's home and conducted a probation search of Gillett, police said. The searches resulted in their arrests, police said.

January 22, 2009
Rocklin police say car-theft suspect worked own neighborhood

Pohan, Jonas Robert.JPGFrom Sandy Louey:

Rocklin police arrested a 30-year-old man Thursday who was linked to stolen property from recent car burglaries, one of which occurred in his neighborhood.

Jonas Robert Pohan (photo left) of Rocklin was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and a probation violation, Lt. Lon Milka said in a press release.

On Thursday afternoon, the Placer County Probation Department asked Rocklin police to arrest Pohan for a probation violation independent of the Rocklin thefts, Milka said.

Officers went to Pohan's home and found property stolen within the last several weeks from vehicles in various neighborhoods, including a cell phone, vehicle keys and personal checks. The property was linked to three vehicle burglaries, police said.

Pohan was booked at the Placer County jail.

January 22, 2009
Child molester from Woodland denied parole for 10 years

From Sandy Louey:

A 66-year-old convicted child molester who was convicted for crimes in Woodland was denied parole for 10 years Thursday.

Michael Ward, of Woodland, was denied after a hearing before the Board of Terms at Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy, according to a press release from the Yolo County District Attorney's Office.

The 10-year denial imposed was done under Proposition 9, which voters approved in November. Proposition 9 allows corrections authorities to put off parole hearings on lifers by up to 15 years in some cases.

Ward was convicted of child molestation involving two young girls in Woodland in 1996.

He had sent pornographic Polaroid photographs through the mail to an undercover Utah special agent. A search warrant was obtained and other evidence was found linking him to two girls whom he photographed and molested, the DA's office said.

Ward has admitted to molesting other young girls, the DA's office said.

He was sentenced in 1997 to 15 years to life for lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14 with more than one victim.

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Kelli Brooksby appeared at Thursday's hearing on behalf of the DA's office.

Brooksby argued against Ward's release based upon his prior record, lack of insight into his criminal behavior, lack of parole plans and continuing danger to the public.

January 22, 2009
Davis massage-parlor owner busted on prostitution

From Sandy Louey:

Davis police on Thursday arrested the 50-year-old owner of a massage parlor on suspicion of prostitution.

Ping Li, owner of Spring 360 Massage, was booked and released and cited for the charge. The business is located in a commercial building at 132 E St., said Lt. Thomas Waltz said in a press release.

Thursday's operation was done with help from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Waltz said.

An undercover officer was sent into the business and Li, of Monterey Park, was arrested after she agreed to perform sexual acts in exchange for money, Waltz said.

Police said Li's arrest was part of an ongoing investigation into complaints about several massage parlors in Davis where sex acts were offered in exchange for money.

Waltz said a surveillance operation begun in mid-2007 found up to four massage parlors within a four-block area in downtown Davis was frequented exclusively by men.

Suspicions that acts of prostitution were occurring were strengthened after officers found remnants of sexual activity being deposited in a communal restroom near one of the businesses, he said.

Davis police said efforts will be made in upcoming weeks to work with the City Council to craft an ordinance that would protect legitimate massage therapy operations while regulating businesses that act as fronts for illegal activity.

January 22, 2009
Woman hits Auburn fire engine head-on

From Chelsea Phua:

A 72-year-old Citrus Heights woman struck an Auburn fire engine head-on Thursday around noon on Highway 49 in the Auburn State Recreation Area, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Florence Keneipp, the 72-year-old driver, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, Officer Dave Montijo said.

One of the six firefighters on Engine 1284 complained of pain, and was taken to hospital, Officer Dave Montijo said. Three others were also transported as a precautionary measure.

The firefighters were at the scene of a solo-vehicle non-injury crash, where another driver had veered off the road and into a ditch north of the American River.

The engine was parked facing north on the right shoulder of the southbound lane. The site was along a curved section of the road, and a car had slowed and come to a stop to make sure that nothing was around the corner when Keneipp, an employee of a car dealership driving a silver 2009 Toyota Corolla belonging to the dealership, tried to go around the first car. The Corolla went onto the right shoulder and into the fire engine.

Montijo said the accident is under investigation and it is unknown why Keneipp was trying to overtake the other car.

January 22, 2009
Worker's comp fraud brings prison, $144,000 restitution

From Sandy Louey:

A 54-year-old Sacramento man was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months and a day in prison for worker's compensation fraud.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton also sentenced Dirulislam Bilal Abdullah to three years of supervised release. Abdullah was also ordered to pay $144,336 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Labor, according to a press release from Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown.

Abdullah pleaded guilty on Aug. 4 to theft of government property and making a false statement to obtain federal employees' compensation.

Federal prosecutors said that Abdullah's father received about $2,500 a month in worker's compensation benefits from the Labor Department under the Federal Employees Compensation Act.

His father died of lung cancer on Nov. 18, 1999.

Following the death, Abdullah completed three separate Labor Department forms where he forged his father's signature in order to continue receiving benefits. The benefits were deposited in a checking account that he could access, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Abdullah used the money to pay his mother's mortgage, life insurance premiums, daily living expenses, credit card bills, health club dues and car repairs. He also paid $800 to his wife to care for his mother, authorities said.

The Labor Department's Office of Inspector General investigated the case.

January 22, 2009
Sacramento man loses $7,300 in 'pigeon drop' scam

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police are searching for two men who allegedly scammed a man out of $7,300 in a so-called "pigeon drop" scheme.

Police said the crime unfolded like this:

At 1:30 p.m. Jan. 15, a man went to the Washington Mutual Bank at 1331 Florin Road. While there, a man approached him and introduced himself as "Andrew."

Andrew told the victim he had $200,000 that he wanted to donate to a charity. Andrew asked for directions to a nearby church, but appeared confused when the man provided them.

The man offered to drive Andrew there. When they arrived at a church on Amherst Way near Meadowview Road, Andrew left items in the car and got out to use the restroom inside the church.

Andrew came out with a man who identified himself as "Paul." Both Paul and Andrew asked the victim to help them donate the $200,000. They asked the man to show that he had money before trusting him with the $200,000.

Police said the man took Paul and Andrew back to the bank and withdrew $7,300 out of his account. The two men had the victim put the money into a bag they said contained $200,000.

They gave the man the bag and asked him to put the money in a safety deposit box. The man discovered the bag was full of paper and his money was gone when he went into the bank to put the money in the box.

"If it's too good to be true then it probably is," said Detective Claressa Wilson of the police's financial crimes unit.

Andrew was described as an African American adult, 5 feet 5 inches tall with dark skin. He wore a black jacket and a gold ring with a jade stone on one of his fingers.

Paul was described as an African American adult, 6 feet tall with dark skin. He wore a dark suit and carried a black briefcase, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 22, 2009
Man convicted in fatal stabbing in hospital parking lot

From Andy Furillo:

A judge found Paso Deshawn Harrison guilty of second-degree murder today in the stabbing death last year of Laura Yvonne Steward outside a south Sacramento hospital.

Prosecutors had sought a first-degree conviction against the 32-year-old Harrison.

Steward, 31, was slain after driving Harrison, her ex-boyfriend and the mother of her toddler son, to Methodist Hospital. He was being treated for a broken foot he sustained while trying to kill himself in a car wreck four days before the July 8, 2007, homicide.

According to trial testimony, Harrison and Steward argued while parked in a car outside the hospital. Harrison stabbed her to death after first threatening to kill himself, he testified, with a 9-inch carving knife.

The victim's sister, Donita Steward-Wiley, said outside the courtroom that her family is going to "stay strong" and "make sure that (Harrison) stays where he needs to be" -- in prison and off the streets forever.

"He's a disgrace to the streets," Steward-Wiley said of the defendant.

Deputy District Attorney Noah Phillips said Harrison faces a 36 years-to-life term when Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael T. Garcia sentences him. The judge presided over the court trial without a jury.

January 22, 2009
Jail inmate arrested in plot to kill his accuser

From Sandy Louey:

The Nevada County Sheriff's Department has arrested a 30-year-old inmate for allegedly plotting to murder the person he is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting.

Jonathan M. Rodriguez, who is housed at the Wayne Brown Correctional Facility, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder, according to a Sheriff's Department press release.

Rodriguez was initially arrested in June 2008.

The department's major crimes unit developed enough evidence to arrest Rodriguez, whose bail is $1.2 million, the release said.

The investigation is continuing, authorities said

January 22, 2009
Elk Grove burglary suspect arrested; property recovered

From Sandy Louey:

Elk Grove police arrested a 19-year-old man Wednesday night on suspicion of burglarizing a home.

At 9:27 p.m., officers responded to a burglary in progress in the 8300 block of Kingmont Way.

The resident provided officers with a suspect description, according to a police report.

Michael Williams was arrested on suspicion of burglary and receiving stolen property. The property stolen from the home was recovered, police said.

January 22, 2009
Robbers force victim to wait on customer

1u_haul_211_cropped.JPGFrom Chelsea Phua:

Roseville police are looking for two men who robbed U-Haul employees at gunpoint earlier this month - even forcing one of the victims to wait on a customer before the bandits fled.

Police said the suspects approached an employee in the vehicle yard of the truck-rental business in the 100 block of Wills Road at 7 p.m. on Jan. 6.

They pointed at gun at him and ordered him back to the office, where they threatened a second employee. During the robbery, a customer came in and the suspects directed one of the employees out to the main office to help the customer.

After the customer left, the suspects took the employees outside and locked them inside the rear of a truck.

The armed robbers took less than $500 in cash, employees' personal property and a U-Haul truck that was recovered later in Citrus Heights.

Both suspects are described as Hispanic men in their 20s. One is 5-feet-8, 160 pounds and thin build. He was wearing a maroon sweatshirt with white writing, blue jeans dark hat, a Texas A&M fan mask (photo left), gloves and was carrying a black revolver.

The other suspect is 5-feet-6, 200 pounds and large build. He was wearing black clothing, black ski mask, Mechanix gloves and was carrying a black stun-gun device.

Anyone with information is asked to call Roseville Crimestoppers at 916-783-7867. Callers may remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 22, 2009
Community meeting planned Feb. 24 at Carmichael service center

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department will host community meetings in Carmichael the last Tuesday of every other month beginning Feb. 24, officials said.

The meetings are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at the Carmichael Sheriff's Service Center, 4005 Manzanita Ave., Suite 58.

For more information, call (916) 487-4292.

January 22, 2009
Would-be intruder gets surprise in Roseville

From Chelsea Phua

The man rang her doorbell persistently and knocked loudly on her door, like he wanted to make sure no one was home, according to Roseville police.

Looking through her peephole, the 45-year-old Roseville woman, home alone at about 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, saw an unfamiliar face.

Something about him was suspicious and following her instincts, she did not answer the door and called 911.

The man looked through the front window of the woman's home in the 2900 block of Wringer Drive and then forcefully kicked her front door. The woman screamed and the man fled.

Police officers arrived but were unable to find the man.

The woman described the suspect as a medium-build Hispanic man in his late 20s with short black hair, a dark baseball cap and a gray shirt with white stripes. He's probably 5-feet-9.

At some point she saw him talking on his cell phone. Police suspect he may have an accomplice.

Police said the woman did the right thing by not opening her door to a stranger and by calling police to report suspicious activity.

Anyone with information about the attempted burglary is asked to call Roseville Police Investigations Unit at 916-774-5070, or Roseville Crime Stoppers at 916-783-7867, which pays cash rewards for anonymous tips leading to an arrest.

January 22, 2009
Crime Alert: Man suspected of stealing business checks sought

unknown 09-004  011909.jpgSacramento Police Department burglary detectives are seeking information leading to the identity of a subject using stolen checks taking during a commercial burglary, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

On Sept. 7, 2008, a law office in downtown Sacramento was burglarized and business checks were among the items taken, officials said. The suspect went to several businesses and wrote checks for purchases in various amounts. The suspect was photographed by a business surveillance camera (left photos).

The suspect is described as in his mid- to late-30s, with black hair and a mustache.

Anyone with information about the suspect is urged to contact Crime Alert at (800) AA-CRIME or (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 22, 2009
Five citations reported in Placer County alcohol sting

From Niehsa Lofing:

An alcohol sting operation in Placer County netted five citations this week.

Rocklin, Roseville and Lincoln police officers, along with Alcoholic Beverage Control investigators, conducted the "shoulder tap operation" in Rocklin and Lincoln on Tuesday, a Rocklin police news release states.

The underage decoys, who were truthful about their age and tell subjects that they are not 21 years old, approached 14 people in four different locations in Rocklin. Four of the adults purchased alcohol for the minor. The adults were cited for furnishing alcohol for a person under 21, the release states.

In Lincoln, the operation also was conducted in four locations. The decoy contacted 35 adults and one of the adults bought alcohol for the minor. The person was cited.

The sting operation will continue each month through June.

So far, authorities have contacted 415 people at 40 locations and have issued citations or arrested 28 people.

Officers also have visited 113 locations during minor decoy operations and cited 14 people.

The departments are working alongside the state agency to help combat alcohol-related violations in the south Placer County area.

The program is funded through a grant from the Alcohol Beverage Control.

January 22, 2009
Memorial service planned Wednesday for K9 Ado

Ado.JPGFrom Kim Minugh:

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department officials have planned a brief memorial service for Ado (left photo), the K9 killed in the line of duty Sunday night while chasing a carjacking suspect.

The public is invited to attend the service, which will start at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Sheriff's Memorial Rose Garden, 1000 River Walk Way, Carmichael.

Ado and his handler, Deputy Anthony Jenkins, responded to a reported carjacking on the 6900 block of Lewiston Way. Jenkins spotted the stolen car, a white Ford Explorer, and chased the suspects with his K9 partner.

In pursuit of one of the men, Ado ran across 47th Avenue and was struck by a car.

A 5-year-old German Shepherd who had been partnered with Jenkins since 2005, Ado was trained in suspect apprehension, evidence recovery and tracking.

The suspects, described by sheriff's officials as two African American men, have not been arrested.

Anyone with information is asked call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115, or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 22, 2009
Ex-El Dorado County supervisor pleads guilty to DUI charge

BAUMANN2.JPGFrom Chelsea Phua:

Former El Dorado County Supervisor Helen Baumann has pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge that stemmed from a June incident when she allegedly crashed through a barbed-wire and down an embankment, authorities said.

Baumann (left photo) pleaded guilty Jan. 9 to driving under the influence, with an enhancement for exceeding 0.20 blood alcohol content level, said deputy district attorney Lisette Suder. The legal limit is 0.08.

Baumann was sentenced to four years of informal probation and four days in jail, a court clerk said. Baumann can opt to complete a work program instead of serving jail time.

She is also required to comply with all "standard terms and conditions" for first-time DUI offenders, which includes attending a class, the clerk said. Baumann also has to pay a $2,376 fine.

On the night of June 6, Baumann, who was then a supervisor, allegedly lost control of her car on Latrobe Road, crashed into a barbed-wire fence and down an embankment. California Highway Patrol officers said she then drove up the embankment, crossed the road and hit another embankment.

A responding officer said Baumann smelled of alcohol and was slurring her speech.

Baumann later issued a statement apologizing for "the strain and disruption the situation has caused our law enforcement and emergency services."

Baumann left office beginning of this month, after reaching her term limit of eight years on the board.

January 22, 2009
Davis tobacco sting yields citations

From Niesha Lofing:

A recent tobacco sting operation in Davis yielded citations for employees at three businesses.

Investigators from the Yolo County District Attorney's office conducted the operation Monday and sent three 16-year-old decoys, supervised by peace officers, to attempt to buy tobacco at three stores, a news release by District Attorney Jeff Reisig's office states.

The stores were the Arco AM/PM Mini Mart at 333 Mace Blvd., Davis 1 Stop Union 76 at 2002 Lyndell Terrace and Circle K Market at 1930 Lake Blvd.

Each teen entered one store between 2:35 and 3:40 p.m. Monday and successfully bought tobacco products ranging from cigarettes to chewing tobacco, the release states.

Lt. Dan Stroski, who supervised the sting operation, said in two of the cases, the clerks checked for ID but failed to notice that the decoy didn't turn 18 until 2010.

"The third clerk never bothered to ask for an ID at all," he stated in the news release.

Each clerk was issued a citation and ordered to appear in court on March 9. If the clerks plead guilty or are found guilty, they could be fined up to $200 and the business license to sell tobacco can be suspended for 10 days, the release states.

The undercover operation is funded entirely through licensing fees collected from businesses selling tobacco in Davis.

January 21, 2009
Redding pair arrested in abuse of 7 children, police say

From Sandy Louey:

Redding police on Wednesday arrested two parents for allegedly physically abusing their seven children.

Rashelle Laverne Clarke, 32, was arrested on a warrant for seven counts of child abuse with great bodily injury and Cassandra Sotelo, 24, was arrested on a warrant for seven counts of child abuse, according to a press release from the Redding Police Department.

The arrests stemmed from a month and a half long investigation that began when a school resource officer was dispatched on Dec. 8 to Cypress Elementary School about a physical abuse report on two children attending the school, police said.

The investigation revealed five additional physical abuse victims. The seven were brothers and sisters who ranged in age from 2 to 5. All had injuries on their bodies, police said.

Arrest warrants were obtained for Clarke and Sotelo, Redding residents who are the children's parents, police said.

Both were booked at the Shasta County jail. Clarke is being held on $245,000 bail, while Sotelo is being held on $70,000 bail, police said.

January 21, 2009
Sacramento police arrest two sets of boys in burglaries

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police on Wednesday arrested two groups of boys for two separate burglaries.

At 11:03 a.m., police responded to a call about three juveniles carrying backpacks prowling near the 5200 block of Summerbrook Way, said Sgt. Norm Leong, a spokesman with the police department.

A 17-year-old boy was stopped immediately. A 12-year-old boy hit and knocked down an officer chasing him. He fled, but was captured and bitten by a K-9 officer's dog, Leong said.

The two were arrested on suspicion of burglary. Property from a home burglary Wednesday in the 5300 block of Summerbrook Way were found in a nearby, vacant home, he said.

The third boy escaped. He is described as an African American male about 17 years old. He wore a brown sweater and had twistie-style hair, Leong said.

At 12:41 p.m., police were called out to a home in the 3900 block of Bristlewood Way. Three boys had tried to kick in the front door of a home while the resident was home, Leong said.

He said police quickly responded and arrested the three - two 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old - on suspicion of attempted burglary.

Leong said officers in the area have noticed an increase in home burglaries with boys as the culprits.

He encouraged parents to know where their children are during the day. Residents shouldn't hesitate to call 911 if they spot something suspicious, he said.

January 21, 2009
Police looking for men who attacked transgender woman

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police are looking for two men who allegedly attacked a 22-year-old transgender woman last week.

The incident, which is being investigated as a hate crime, occurred at 5 p.m. Friday in the tunnel connecting Downtown Plaza and Old Sacramento, said Officer Konrad Von Schoech, a spokesman for the police department.

Two men verbally harassed the victim, who was born a male but is transitioning to a female. They made derogatory remarks about her gender, Von Schoech said.

When she took her cell phone out, she dropped money on the floor, which they picked up. One of them threw a bottle at her leg, Von Schoech said.

The victim, who cut her foot on the broken glass, ran away and called police, he said.

Both men are described as African American men in their late teens or early 20's, 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 190 pounds.

One was wearing a red bandana, baggy blue jeans and a black sweatshirt. The second wore a grey sweater and blue jeans, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call (916) 264-5471.

January 21, 2009
Vacuum-cleaner salesman arrested in Auburn theft

1garcia juan pablo.jpgFrom Sandy Louey:

The Placer County Sheriff's Department has arrested an 18-year-old vacuum cleaner salesman for allegedly stealing items from an unlocked car in north Auburn.

Juan Pablo Garcia (photo left) of Sacramento was arrested Tuesday evening on suspicion of grand theft, said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department in a press release.

Garcia was part of a large group of out-of-town youth who were transported to the Auburn area and dropped off in several neighborhoods to sell Kirby vacuums and carpet cleaning services, she said.

After knocking on a door at a home on Jeremiah Drive, Garcia told deputies that he noticed a car with an open window and an unlocked door, Erwin said. Garcia took a wallet and cell phone from the car, Erwin said.

The car's owner, who was visiting the home, saw Garcia take the items and gave chase, she said.

Deputies who responded were unable to find Garcia. A short time later, a deputy pulled over a van and found a passenger matching Garcia's description, Erwin said.

The victim, whose wallet was recovered, identified Garcia as the suspect, Erwin said.

Garcia was released from the Placer County jail Wednesday afternoon after posting $5,000 bail, records show.

The Sheriff's Department, which has seen an increase in thefts from unlocked vehicles, is reminding residents to lock their vehicles and remove valuables from their cars, Erwin said.

January 21, 2009
Sacramento serial cat burglar suspect arrested

012109-11.pdf - Adobe Reader.JPGFrom Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police have arrested a 38-year-old man whom they believe is responsible for a series of cat burglaries in McKinley Park.

Kenneth Johnson (photo left) was arrested on Jan. 10 for three burglaries in the area - in the 3900 block of McKinley Blvd. on Sept. 29; in the 1200 block of 48th St. on Nov. 9; and in the 3800 block of McKinley Blvd. on Dec. 30, said Sgt. Norm Leong, a spokesman for the police department.

Forensic evidence linked Johnson to three of the 13 burglaries that took place between July and December 2008 in McKinley Park. Police are investigating to see if he is tied to the other 10, Leong said.

Police believe that Johnson entered the homes by an unlocked door or window while residents slept inside. When inside, he would steal whatever was in plain view.

All the burglaries took place between the hours of 10 p.m. and 9 a.m.

The 10 other McKinley Park burglaries that police are investigating were:

-July 25, 1500 block of 40th St.

-July 29, 1200 block of 42nd St.

-Aug. 14, 300 block of Santa Ynez Way

-Aug. 29, 600 block of 36th St.

-Sept. 11, 1300 block of 42nd St.

-Sept. 21, 400 block of 36th Way

-Oct. 16, 400 block of 35th St.

-Oct. 26, 800 block of 46th St.

-Nov. 9, 900 block of 43rd St.

-Nov. 15, 1100 block of 37th St.

Leong said Johnson was arrested on Nov. 27 for prowling in the area where the burglaries occurred.

January 21, 2009
Burglar sought in $11,000 store theft

3clip_image002.jpgFrom Sandy Louey:

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is asking for help in identifying a man who burglarized a Target store and stole more than $11,000 of electronic merchandise.

The burglary of the store in the 1900 block of Fulton Ave. took place during the early morning hours of Dec. 25. The man broke a store window, went into the store and stole the items, according to a press release.

Store security cameras captured the burglar (photo left) and his vehicle (photo below). He is described as a white man between 18 to 25 years old. He is about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighs about 150 pounds and has short light-brown hair, the Sheriff's Department said.

His vehicle was a light colored full-size four-door sedan that was possibly an older Lincoln Continental.

Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff's detectives at (916) 874-1039 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can be anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.


January 21, 2009
Testimony relives fatal stabbing in hospital parking lot

From Andy Furillo:

A man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death outside a south Sacramento hospital testified today that he held a knife against his chest and meant to kill himself before he turned the blade on his victim.

Paso Deshawn Harrison, 32, said that the victim, Laura Yvonne Steward, told him to "go ahead and kill yourself," then tried to grab the knife away from him.

"We struggled over the knife," Harrison testified. "She got control over it and then I got control of it back."

Their 17-month-old son was strapped in a seat in the rear of the car.

Witnesses said they saw Steward, 31, emerge from the car and then collapse in the parking lot of Methodist Hospital.

Harrison said he did not remember stabbing Steward.

"Next thing I remember, I got blood on me, I've got a knife in my hand and I'm driving," Harrison testified.

He said he saw a policeman at a south Sacramento area restaurant, got out of the car and walked up to the officer and "I think I asked him to shoot me."

Harrison had attempted to kill himself by drinking Liquid Drano before four days before the July 8, 2008, attack on Steward. He had been placed in the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center and released the day before Steward's death.

Robert Saria, the attorney who is representing Harrison in the Sacramento Superior Court trial before Judge Michael T. Garcia, said there is no dispute that his client killed Steward. He said he is pushing to have Garcia, who is hearing the case without a jury, find his client guilty of second-degree murder.

On cross-examination, Deputy District Attorney Noah Phillips asked Harrison several times if it's true that he really did not plan to kill himself the day he killed Steward. Harrison sat silent for several minutes before Garcia declared a mid-afternoon recess.

January 21, 2009
Elk Grove police seek Walgreens robbery suspect

From Sandy Louey:

Elk Grove police are searching for a man who robbed a Walgreens store Tuesday night.

At 9:57 p.m., a man went into the store at 9180 Franklin Blvd. The man, who had a knife, went to a clerk and demanded money from the cash register. The clerk complied and the robber left the store, according to a police report.

The robber was seen leaving in a green Ford Explorer with pinstripes. He was described as an African American man between age 20 and 30. He was 5 feet 11 and had a medium build, police said.

Police said he wore a full-face ski mask, black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call at (916) 714-5115.

January 21, 2009
El Dorado County Sheriff's Department plans next citizens' academy

From Sandy Louey:

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Department is offering a citizens' academy for residents who want to learn more about law enforcement and safety issues.

The next academy will run for 12 consecutive Tuesdays, with the first session planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 24.

During the academy, participants will learn about subjects such as patrol procedures, investigations, the K-9 unit, gangs, narcotics and use of force. Each student can also go on a four-hour ride-along with a sheriff's deputy.

The academy, which has been offered since 1993, is free. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

To apply, view or call Lt. Kevin House at (530) 642-4706 or Detective Jeff Leikauf at (530) 642-4720.

January 21, 2009
Teen cyclist suspected of robbing girl of her iPod in Elk Grove

From Sandy Louey:

A teenage bicyclist in Elk Grove robbed a 16-year-old girl of her iPod Tuesday afternoon.

The girl was walking on Seasons Drive and October Way around 4:30 p.m. when a teenage boy rode by her on a bicycle. After a brief conversation, the boy grabbed her iPod from her pants pocket, according to a report from the Elk Grove Police Department.

The girl tried to get it back from the boy, but he rode away. When a witness tried to stop the boy, he dropped the bicycle and fled, police said.

January 21, 2009
Crime Alert: Attempted murder suspect wanted

darty   011909.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is seeking Kory Darty (left photo) on a felony no-bail arrest warrant for suspicion of attempted murder, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

Darty is described as age 29, 5-foot-6 weighing 160 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. According to authorities, he was last known to live in the 5500 Block of Sky Parkway in south Sacramento. Also known as "KD" or "D," Darty also has ties to the North Sacramento area, officials said.

Anyone with information about Darty is urged to contact Crime Alert at (800) AA-CRIME or (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 21, 2009
Crab feed fundraiser to benefit Crime Alert reward program

From Niesha Lofing:

A local organization that usually is on the prowl for crime suspects is looking for hungry citizens this weekend.

The Sacramento Citizens Crime Alert Reward Program is holding a crab feed Saturday in hopes of raising funds for the program, states a Crime Alert news release.

The program helps law enforcement with information on wanted suspects and pays tipsters rewards of up $1,000.

The program paid more than $12,000 last year in rewards and the tips received led to the arrest of 45 people, the release states.

Each year, the crab feed generates nearly 80 percent of the program's funding, and much of the money raised goes to pay tipsters.

The crab feed begins at with cocktails at 6:30 p.m., with dinner to be served at 7:30 p.m.

The event, which also includes a raffle and silent and live auctions, will take place at Garden Pavilions at McClellan Park, 5640 Dudley Blvd.

Tickets are $45 per person.

For more information, call (916) 281-5715.

January 21, 2009
Rocklin residents aid in police finding suspect who led officers in pursuit

bayless derek t.jpgFrom Niesha Lofing:

Several Rocklin citizens helped police catch a man who led officers on a short pursuit through a neighborhood Tuesday.

A Rocklin police officer spotted a black Volvo speeding and fishtailing about 5 p.m. at Rocklin Road and Pacific Street, Sgt. Forrest Richardson stated in a news release.

The officer chased the car in an effort to stop the driver, but the car kept driving.

A brief pursuit ensued through a residential neighborhood and the driver abandoned the car in a driveway of a home and ran away, Richardson said.

A citizen saw the direction the driver ran in and told the officer.

Two other residents pointed out the fleeing man, who officers soon detained near the Rocklin Train Depot, police Lt. Lon Milka said.

Derek Thomas Bayless (top left photo), 18, of Auburn, was arrested on suspicion of felony evading a police officer. He was booked into Placer County Jail in Auburn and has since posted the $1,500 bail.

Milka said the police are grateful that the residents jumped in to help.

"We always appreciate our citizens and their concern for helping us," he said. "We know they want to keep a safe neighborhood."

January 21, 2009
Murder retrial opens in prostitute's death

From Andy Furillo:

Jurors began hearing opening statements today in the murder retrial of a man accused of strangling a prostitute in the North Highlands area five years ago.

Deputy District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert laid out the prosecution's case against Robert Ray Hon in the slaying of Vicki Jo Harris by recounting incriminating statements he made to assorted witnesses right after the 25-year-old victim's body was found the day after her Jan. 30, 2003, disappearance.

Hon was found hiding beneath a truck near the van where Harris' naked body lay lifeless, according to Schubert. A sheriff's detective who discovered him coatless in the early morning chill said to the defendant, "You must be cold."

According to Schubert, Hon replied, "Not as cold as her."

Hon, 33, was arrested and charged with the Harris murder, but a jury that heard the case in 2005 could not reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared.

Defense lawyer Don Masuda was scheduled to give his opening statement later in the morning.

January 21, 2009
California crime: L.A. police arrest suspected leader of high-end burglary crew

From The Los Angeles Times:

Los Angeles police have arrested a suspected leader of a small but sophisticated crew of burglars who allegedly broke into the homes of executives, celebrities and sports stars, stealing millions of dollars worth of cash and property, law enforcement sources said Tuesday.

Dubbed the "Hillside Burglars" by police, the bandits are suspected of committing more than 150 break-ins over the last several years, targeting some of Los Angeles' wealthiest neighborhoods, and taking items worth more than $10 million.

Click here for the full Times' story.

January 21, 2009
Update: Suspect ordered ham sandwich before demanding cash

From Niesha Lofing:

A ham sandwich and a side of ... cash?

Such was the order Tuesday night at an east Sacramento Subway.

Sacramento police have not yet caught the armed robber who held up the sandwich shop at 37th and J streets.

The man went into the store around 6:30 p.m. and ordered a foot-long ham sandwich, then passed the employee a note demanding cash, police Officer Konrad Von Schoech said.

At one point the robber alluded to the fact that he may have had a gun, he said.

"He got away with several hundred dollars," Von Schoech said.

The man walked out of the store and then started running down the street.

No one was hurt during the robbery.

The man is described as black, in his 20s, about 5-foot-4, and was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and a red coat, he said.

Police are looking for information about the case and are asking that anyone with information call the department's non-emergency dispatch at (916) 264-5471.

January 21, 2009
Update: Digging in Sacramento back yard reveals little about missing man

From Niesha Lofing:

A digging expedition in the back yard of a Sacramento home Tuesday night yielded little information about a man who has been missing for more than three months.

Sacramento police dug in the back yard of the home on Costa Brase Court, off of Main Avenue in the Robla area, police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said.

They were hoping to turn up clues about the disappearance of Gerardo Valdez, 42, who was reported missing by family members on Nov. 20. He was last seen Oct. 26, he said.

They were digging at the home because "there was information that we received that we wanted to follow up on," Leong said.

The excavation did not result in much information for police, however.

"We didn't find anything of significance," he said.

Authorities took some items from the home, but Leong declined to specify what they were.

Valdez stayed at the home "off and on," Leong said. The person who lived there was an associate of Valdez.

Police say they don't know if Valdez is alive.

January 20, 2009
Police seek Subway robber

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Sacramento Police are looking for a man suspected in an armed robbery of a East Sacramento Subway about 6:45 p.m. today, police said.

A black adult male, wearing a red jacket or hoodie and blue jeans, entered the Subway in the 3700 block of J Street and demanded all the money in the register, police said. No weapon was seen, but the man appeared to have a gun wrapped in a bag, police said.

The man, described as about 5-feet-6 and average build, was last seen westbound on J Street on foot. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sacramento Police Department at 443-HELP.

January 20, 2009
Victim, neighbors disarm, hold Redding man for cops

From Sandy Louey:

Redding police have arrested a 47-year-old man for allegedly assaulting and threatening a woman after she and some neighbors disarmed him.

At 5:07 p.m. Sunday, officers responded to a call about someone in the 4000 block of Saffron Court being armed with a handgun.

Upon the officers' arrival, they saw neighbors holding Keith Alan McIntosh on the ground. The neighbors were aiding a woman whom McIntosh had assaulted and threatened, according to a press release.

He had threatened her with a firearm before disarmed by her with the neighbors' help. No shots were fired, police said.

McIntosh was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and domestic violence. He was booked into the Shasta County jail and held on $1.5 million bail, police said.

January 20, 2009
Redding bust turns up drugs, phony $100 bills

From Sandy Louey:

Redding police have arrested a 34-year-old man on counterfeiting and drug charges.

At 10:54 p.m. Monday, an officer stopped a vehicle driven by Benjamin Eric Tillery of Redding near the intersection of Chestnut and Placer streets.

Methamphetamine and marijuana were found during a search of Tillery's vehicle. Several counterfeit $100 bills, numerous pages of computer paper printed with images of $100 bills and a computer printer were also in the vehicle, according to a press release.

Tillery was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of counterfeit U.S. currency with the intent to distribute, police said.

Investigators searched his home and confiscated four computers associated with the investigation.

The U.S. Secret Service office in Sacramento was advised about the case, which was submitted to the Shasta County District Attorney's Office.

January 20, 2009
Brazen robber hits gas station while deputy at a pump

From Sandy Louey:

The Shasta County Sheriff's Department is investigating an armed robbery of a gas station in Johnson Park while a deputy was refueling his patrol car outside.

The robbery took place at 7:54 a.m. Tuesday at the J-Mart gas station at 38006 Highway 299 East. A man with a firearm demanded money from the clerk, according to a press release.

The clerk handed over the money to the robber, who ordered the clerk to lie on the floor while he left. A sheriff's deputy was refueling his patrol vehicle outside, but he was unaware of the robbery until the clerk ran outside to tell him, the Sheriff's Department said.

The robber is described as a white man from 5 feet 10 to 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 140 to 160 pounds. He had a thin build. The robber wore black clothing and a black mask, authorities said.

January 20, 2009
Police digging at home in search for missing man

clip_image002.jpgFrom Sandy Louey

Sacramento police are digging this evening in the backyard of a northside Sacramento home in connection with a missing 42-year-old man.

Detectives went to a home at Costa Brase Court today to serve a search warrant in the case involving Gerardo Valdez (photo left). Family members reported him missing on Nov. 20.

Valdez was last seen Oct. 26, Sgt. Norm Leong said in a press release.

Valdez is described as being 6 feet tall and weighing 230 pounds, police said.

Anyone with information about Valdez's whereabouts is asked to call police at (916) 808-0650

January 20, 2009
Bar fight in Lincoln costs one woman an ear, cops say

From Sandy Louey:

Lincoln police have arrested a 22-year-old woman for allegedly being involved in a bar fight that severed the ear of her opponent.

On Monday, detectives arrested Andrea Gabrielle of Lincoln on suspicion of mayhem. She was booked into the Placer County jail, according to a press release.

Police were called out shortly after midnight Sunday to a fight at Dillian's Bar and Grill at 605 G Street.

Officers said they found a 23-year-old woman who had fought with Gabrielle. The woman, who had a severed ear, was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment, police said.

Gabrielle had ripped off the woman's ear with her hands, police said. Doctors were able to reattach the severed ear, said Lincoln Police Lt. Terry Kennedy.

Gabrielle, who had fled the scene before officers arrived, was identified during the investigation, police said.

January 20, 2009
Courtland woman killed in 1-vehicle crash

From Sandy Louey:

An 18-year-old Courtland woman was killed Tuesday afternoon after her vehicle went over an embankment and hit some trees, the California Highway Patrol said.

The accident occurred at 11:55 a.m. when Marina Arredondo was driving south on Highway 160 at Lambert Road near Courtland, said Officer Michael Bradley, spokesman for the CHP.

Arredondo was traveling 50 to 55 mph when her vehicle drifted to the right side of the road. She overcorrected and veered back into the lane.

She lost control of the vehicle, which went down the right side of the embankment into an orchard, Bradley said.

Her vehicle overturned and hit several trees. Arredondo died at the scene. Neither drugs nor alcohol apparently was a factor, Bradley said.

January 20, 2009
Explosion investigated in Elk Grove park

From Sandy Louey:

An explosive device was detonated over the weekend in an Elk Grove park, authorities said Tuesday.

The Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department and Elk Grove Police Department responded to Lawrence Park at 9369 Fassett Drive around 8 p.m. Sunday, said district spokesman Steve Capps.

Calls had come in from a four-block area about hearing sounds of an explosion, Capps said.

Nothing was found from that device, but a second homemade device was located in the park. The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's bomb squad was called out to deactivate the cylindrical device, Capps said.

January 20, 2009
2 teens arrested in Elk Grove in phone theft

From Sandy Louey:

Elk Grove police have arrested two teens for allegedly punching and robbing a 15-year-old boy of his cell phone.

The incident occurred at 5:21 p.m. Friday at Villeneuve and Maranello drives. A 14-year-old boy asked to borrow the boy's phone. When he did, the 14-year-old fled with the phone, according to a police report.

When the phone's owner tried to get it back, the 14-year-old boy and another 15-year-old boy punched him several times. A witness called police and followed the two boys to a nearby home, police said.

The boys were arrested on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy and taken to juvenile hall. The Bee is not identifying the suspects because they are juveniles.

January 20, 2009
Placerville man killed himself after shooting brother, cops say

From Sandy Louey:

Authorities said Tuesday that a 51-year-old Placerville man killed himself after shooting his brother in the leg this weekend.

El Dorado County Sheriff's Department deputies responded at 5:10 p.m. Saturday to a call about a person being shot in the 2000 block of Scheller Way, according to a Sheriff's Department press release.

Lee Comer and Scott Comer, 47, were found outside the home belonging to Scott Comer. Both had gunshot wounds, the release said.

After an argument between the two, Lee Comer shot his younger brother before shooting himself, the release said. He died at the scene.

Authorities said Scott Comer was taken to Marshall Medical Center for treatment. His condition was not available.

January 20, 2009
Woman arrested in $20,000 embezzlement from dental office

From M.S. Enkoji:

Sacramento Police arrested Margaret Serna, 42, for embezzlement charges today after she turned herself in to authorities.

Sacramento Police detectives believe Serna took about $20,700 during 2005 to 2008 from the dental office where she worked for about five years.

Serna is suspected of pocketing patients' personal checks and cash when they paid for services, said Sacramento Police Detective Claressa Wilson.

Serna worked for Dr. Michael Quessenberry, who had a practice near the Pocket area in Sacramento, police said.

January 20, 2009
Roseville police bust woman over fake prescriptions

From Chelsea Phua:

Roseville police officers arrested a Fair Oaks woman on Monday on several possible charges, including allegedly obtaining prescription drugs using different names in various locations in Yolo and Sacramento counties.

Roseville police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said Sheri Renee Marotte, 44, failed to appear on an earlier charge of writing checks with insufficient funds, which she allegedly committed in Roseville.

Officers went to her residence at 10:15 a.m. to serve her a Placer County bench warrant and discovered prescription bottles and receipts for prescriptions she fraudulently obtained in the other counties, Gunther said.

Marotte was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of prescription narcotics, burglary, writing insufficient funded checks, obtaining controlled substances fraudulently, counterfeiting blank prescription forms, probation violation and committing a felony while out on bail for another felony, Gunther said.

The burglary charge stems from entering a pharmacy with the intention to commit prescription fraud, Gunther said.

She is being held without bail in the Placer County Jail.

January 20, 2009
Update: Two unrelated south Sacramento drive-by shootings wound three

From Kim Minugh and Niesha Lofing:

Police are investigating two unrelated drive-by shootings in south Sacramento that wounded three people Monday night.

The first shooting occurred about 7:30 p.m. in the 4300 block of Armadale Way, said Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong. The neighborhood is in the Valley Hi area.

Two juveniles - a 14-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy - were shot and taken to the hospital, Leong said. They are expected to recover.

Leong said a Ford Taurus and a Buick were driving in tandem down Armadale Way when an unknown number of shooters from one or both cars fired upon the victims. Police have no further description of the vehicles.

Another drive-by shooting occurred about 8:10 p.m. in the 7700 block of McBride Way in the Meadowview area, Leong said, where a 16-year-old boy was struck by gunfire coming from a white Chevrolet Tahoe that fled the scene.

The victim was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover.

No arrests have been made in either shooting, and no suspect information is available in either case. Leong said neither incident is believed to be gang-related.

Anyone with information about either shootings is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and might be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 19, 2009
Elk Grove police offer citizens academy

From Sandy Louey

Elk Grove police are looking for people interested in attending its citizens academy.

The 15-week program is designed to educate participants about patrol and investigation procedures, dispatch and forensics.

Classes will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Feb. 25, at the Police Department, 8400 Laguna Palms Way.

The free program is open to anyone who lives or works in Elk Grove. The 15 to 20 participants must be older than 18 and have no felony convictions. A background check will be conducted on all applicants.

Applications can be found at For additional information, contact Sgt. Audrey Haug at (916) 478-8073 or by e-mail at

January 19, 2009
West Sacramento police officer injured during traffic pursuit

From Sandy Louey:

A West Sacramento police officer was injured Sunday night after losing control of his vehicle and hitting some trees.

At 7:45 p.m., the officer was trying to overtake a traffic violator on Southport Parkway west of Lake Washington Boulevard. He lost control and his vehicle hit several trees in the center median of the road, according to a news release.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident. The officer, whose injuries didn't appear to be serious, was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, police said.

The accident is under investigation.

January 18, 2009
Update: Sheriff's Department K-9 dog struck by car, killed during pursuit

Ado.JPGFrom Chelsea Phua:

AA Sacramento County Sheriff's Department K-9 unit dog was struck and killed by a passing motorist while pursuing a carjacking suspect Sunday evening, authorities said.

Ado (left photo) was part of a K-9 unit responding to a report of a carjacking of a 67-year-old man in the 6900 block of Lewiston Way at about 7 p.m. The victim reported that two men punched him, took his car keys and stole his white Ford Explorer.

Minutes later, the K-9 unit spotted the vehicle, which stopped in the parking lot of an apartment complex near 47th Avenue and 54th Street. The suspects exited the vehicle and fled. Ado and his partner, Anthony Jenkins, a 14-year-veteran deputy with the department, chased the suspects. Ado followed one of them through the apartment complex and across 47th Avenue, where a motorist hit him.

The suspects, who were wearing dark clothing, were not found.

Ado was a 5-year-old German Shepherd. He was certified in 2005 by Jenkins, a 41-year-old deputy who had been assigned to the K-9 unit since 2001.

Anyone with information is asked call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115, or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 18, 2009
Cameron Park man arrested for assaulting girlfriend

Jimmie Beechler.JPG
From Sandy Louey:

El Dorado County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested a 38-year-old man today for allegedly attempting to murder his girlfriend.

Deputies said they responded at 7:40 a.m. to a Cameron Park address to a reported domestic violence call.

A woman, who had extensive injuries, was taken to the hospital for treatment, a Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

Her boyfriend, Jimmie Beechler(left photo), was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder because of the extent and severity of injuries to the woman, said Sgt. Jim Byers, Sheriff's Department spokesman.

January 18, 2009
West Sacramento fire destroys boat along Sacramento River

burning_boat.JPGPhoto courtesy Wayne Carlisle

From Sandy Louey:

The West Sacramento Fire Department is investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a boat Saturday night on the Sacramento River.

Firefighters received a call at 7:42 p.m. about a blaze at the Sherwood Harbor Marina and RV Park on South River Road.

A 28-foot boat moored to the dock was fully engulfed. The boat was a total loss. No one was on board and there were no injuries, said West Sacramento Battalion Chief John Bodolay.

"It was engulfed in flames," said Wayne Carlisle, who lives on a 33-foot boat next to the destroyed one.

Awakened by friends screaming his name, he cut the line so he could drift away from the blaze. The heat from the fire cracked and blistered his boat, Carlisle said.

Bodolay said the U.S. Coast Guard assisted by pulling a boat away from the fire.

January 18, 2009
2 more busted in video-game store robbery ring

From Sandy Louey:

Investigators report two more arrests in connection with a string of armed robberies targeting stores that deal in used video games (see surveillance camera photo below from one of the robberies).

Eighteen-year-old Reginald Hola and a 17-year-old boy were arrested Thursday. Investigators believe the two, along with three arrested Jan. 12 for a video game store robbery, are responsible for robbing at least six video-game stores since Dec. 20., according to a press release from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

Four of the robberies were in the county and one each was in Sacramento and Elk Grove.

Detectives also believe that suspects are tied to at least two other area robberies, authorities said.

Raymond Gray, 18, and Lemuel Talley, 22, and a 17-year-old boy were arrested Jan. 12 after robbing a GameStop in the 8200 block of Calvine Road, the sheriff's department.

Thursday's arrests were made by investigators from the Sacramento County Violent Crimes Task Force, comprised of Sheriff's Department robbery detectives and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. The Sacramento Police Department and the Elk Grove Police Department provided assistance.

Investigators said more arrests are imminent.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (916) 874-5051 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.


January 18, 2009
Shooting leaves 1 dead, 1 wounded in Placerville

From Sandy Louey:

A man was killed and his brother was wounded Saturday in a shooting in Placerville, investigators said today.

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Department received a call at 5:10 p.m. about a person shot in the 2000 block of Scheller Way.

When deputies arrived, they found the brothers outside the home belonging to Scott Comer, 47, said Sgt. Jim Byers, a spokesman with the sheriff's department.

Lee Comer, 51, of Placerville, died at the scene. Scott Comer, who had gunshot wounds in the lower body, was taken to Marshall Medical Center for treatment, Byers said.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the two were possibly arguing when the shooting occurred. It is still unclear as to which brother was the shooter and the sequence of events, Byers said.

No arrest has been made, he said

January 18, 2009
Police looking for Natomas gunman

From Chelsea Phua:

Police were looking for a man who shot another in Natomas on Saturday morning after a fight in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.

The victim, who was taken to UC Davis Medical Center, is expected to survive, Sacramento police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said.

The fight started shortly before 2:30 a.m. outside a Jack in the Box restaurant on Del Paso Road. The victim left in his car, but the gunman, driving a light-colored vehicle with tinted windows, followed him onto East Commerce Way and fired several rounds into the victim's car, striking him in the stomach.

Police described the gunman as an African American man between 25 to 30 years of age, about 6 feet tall with a muscular build. No other information was available.

January 18, 2009
Arrest made in flood of fake, vulgar 911 calls

From Bill Lindelof:

A Sacramento man is under arrest after allegedly making hundreds of nuisance and false calls to the 911 emergency assistance system.

The California Highway Patrol took Jamie Best, 35, of Sacramento into custody Friday night. He is suspected of making more than 300 cell phone calls to 911 from Dec. 30 to Jan. 16.

What began as "vulgar messages" evolved into false calls of shootings and eventually a bomb threat to a state facility, according to the CHP.

Best was taken into custody in south Sacramento after reportedly placing 83 calls to 911, according to the CHP.

Phony or nuisance calls to 911 waste the time of officers and dispatchers, taking them away from legitimate service to the public, the CHP said

January 18, 2009
3rd child kidnapping attempt reported in Rancho Cordova

From Bill Lindelof:

A third boy is apparently a victim of an attempted kidnapping in Rancho Cordova.

A 12-year-old boy, who became aware of the attempted kidnappings of two other boys, told his parents that he too had been approached by a man in a car, according to Rancho Cordova police.

The latest incident occurred Jan. 13 at 4:25 p.m. when the boy was walking near Dawes Street and Folsom Boulevard.

The man told him he needed help finding his lost dog. Instead, the boy ran from the scene.

The circumstances were similar, police said, to two other incidents reported on Jan. 12. In the first, an 11-year-old was walking on Mapola Way near Williamson Elementary School. In the second an 11-year-old boy was approached while he was walking near Cordova Lane Elementary School on Cordova Lane.

In both Jan. 12 cases, the suspect drove up to the victims and asked them to help find his lost dog. And, in both cases, the boys fled.

The boy in the second incident said that the suspect attempted to grab him through the window of the car. The first boy said the suspect appeared to have a pistol in his car.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department artist met with each boy and produced a sketch of the suspect. Although there are differences in the drawings, detectives believe all three incidents involve the same man.

Police said the boys described the suspect as an Hispanic man, about 30-years-old, with a goatee. The boys said he was driving a black or dark green sedan.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's department at (916) 874-5115.

January 18, 2009
Update: 2 teens found safe in Eldorado National Forest

From Sandy Louey

Two 16-year-old Elk Grove boys reported missing in the Eldorado National Forest were found safe today.

Search and rescue efforts were launched near Mormon Emigrant Trail Road after the boys were reported missing at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Jim Byers, a spokesman for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.

The boys, who were on a family camping trip, were last seen after leaving for a ride on two all-terrain vehicle quad runners at 4 p.m. Saturday, he said.

The boy and his friend had gotten stuck in the snow and were unable to dig out. They made a shelter and started a fire to keep warm, Byers said.

The boys heard the helicopter searching for them this morning. Around 10 to 10:30 a.m., one boy hiked out to a road, where he flagged down a car driven by a family member helping with the search. The second teenager was airlifted out because of the snow, Byers said.

Byers said both boys were checked out and released to their parents.

About 30 personnel from the sheriff's department, the California Highway Patrol, and the U.S. Forest Service were involved in the search, he said.

January 16, 2009
Sacramento man gets 27 years for bank robberies

Bee Staff

A Sacramento man has been sentenced to 27 years in a federal prison for bank robberies in Sacramento and Davis, the Yolo County District Attorney's Office reported on Friday.

In July, David Bryant, 52, pleaded guilty to the robberies, according to a new release from the DA's office.

The release gave this account:

On August 1, 2007 at 9 a.m., Bryant walked up to a teller at the Union Bank in Davis and said: "Give me all your money. No funny money."

Bryant left the bank with $7,352.

Four months later, Bryant robbed Wachovia Bank in San Francisco. Bryant was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department.

During police interviews, he admitted to robbing banks in Berkeley, Sacramento and Davis.

Since the case involved bank robberies in four cities and involved federal banks, the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District agreed to prosecute the Sacramento and Davis cases.

The 27-year sentence was for the Davis and Sacramento robberies. The San Francisco and Berkeley cases fall under a different district federal court. The Bee could not find out Friday the status of those cases.

In Sacramento, U.S. District Court Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr. sentenced Bryant. Assistant U. S. Attorney William Wong prosecuted the case.

January 16, 2009
Roseville PD looking for strongarm robber

From Sandy Louey:

Roseville police are asking for help in locating a man who punched a man and then robbed him and another victim last month.

At 11:30 p.m. Dec. 19, people were sitting in a vehicle in a parking lot in the 500 block of North Sunrise Avenue. A man opened the driver's door and punched the driver in the face. The assailant pulled the victim out of the car and demanded his wallet, according to a press release from Roseville Crime Stoppers.

The driver fell to the ground and was hit several more times. The woman in the passenger seat was unharmed, but her purse was stolen, the release said. The robber fled in a vehicle.

The male victim attracted the attention of the driver of a pickup truck passing by, but the driver was unsuccessful in chasing the robber's vehicle.

The robber is described as a white man in his early 20s with blonde hair and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt. Three other men were with him, but no further descriptions are available, the release said.

Anyone with information is asked to call (916) 783-7867. Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 16, 2009
Sacramento drug dealer gets 10 years

From Sandy Louey:

A 28-year-old Sacramento man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for trafficking in drugs.

U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced on Thursday David Brown Jr. for a conviction of possession with intent to distribute at least five grams of crack cocaine after a prior felony drug conviction, according to a release from the Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown.

David Brown also must serve eight years of supervised release.

The case came from an investigation from the Sacramento Police Department's problem oriented police officers, the release said.

Federal prosecutors said police officers knew Brown was a drug dealer in Oak Park.

On Jan. 7, 2008, Oak Park POP officers were patrolling at 8th Avenue and San Jose Way. Brown threw away a bag containing more than 40 grams of crack cocaine when he saw the officers, the release said.

When he was arrested, he was on parole and had been convicted three times of possession/purchase of cocaine base for sale - in San Mateo County in 1998 and in Sacramento County in 1998 and 2003. He also was convicted in 2006 in Sacramento County for the felony of possession of a controlled substance, authorities said.

January 16, 2009
Description, photo released of Natomas bank robber

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento police are seeking the public's help in locating a man who allegedly robbed a Bank of America in Natomas on Tuesday.

The suspect, whose picture was taken by a surveillance camera (see photo), entered the bank at 3645 North Freeway Boulevard and demanded money from the teller by note, Sgt. Norm Leong wrote in a press release.

The suspect said he had a gun, although witnesses didn't see one, Leong said.

A witness told police that the suspect fled in a newer dark green sports utility vehicle, possibly a Jeep Cherokee, Leong said.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5-foot-5-inches to 5-foot-7-inches tall, 190 to 200 pounds, with dark red or brown short hair. He has an unshaven face and was wearing a black baseball hat, blue denim jacket, a light gray hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, Leong said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

011609-9.pdf - Adobe Reader.JPG

January 16, 2009
Video helps snare suspected Yolo County thieves

From Bill Lindelof:

Video recorded by store and parking lot cameras at a Yolo County mall led to the arrest of two Woodland residents police suspect used a stolen credit card to buy merchandise and gasoline.

Pablo Correa and Adriana Castro, both 37, are suspected of using a stolen credit card to purchase $627 worth of merchandise from the JC Penney store at the Yolo County Fair Mall. In-store video captured images of Correa and Castro making the department store purchases, and exterior cameras photographed their vehicle, a Woodland Police Department news release states.

Woodland detectives found the vehicle and identified Castro and Correa as suspects. Officials say Correa took a purse from an unlocked vehicle parked at a coffee shop. The suspects also used the credit card to buy nearly $60 in gas, detectives said.

January 16, 2009
Update: Charity embezzlement suspect arrested

goodenough.jpgBee Staff

Sacramento police arrested Friday a woman accused of embezzling $225,000 from a local charity.

Donna Joe Goodenough, 46, who worked as an office manager for Options in Supported Living, a local community service organization, was arrested at 8:40 a.m. at a relative's residence in Elk Grove, said Sgt. Norm Leong, Sacramento Police Department spokesman.

Options in Supported Living provides help for people with disabilities so they can live in their own homes.

Goodenough, who had full control of the organization's finances, allegedly forged and passed about 100 fraudulent checks against the organization from January 2007 to May 2008, he said.

She was writing checks to herself in varying amounts, which was discovered during an audit, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Goodenough also allegedly made several unauthorized purchases using one of the organization's credit cards, the spokesman said.

She was taken into custody without incident, Leong said.

January 15, 2009
Gunfire reported during fight at Elk Grove mini-mart

From Sandy Louey:

A handgun was fired during an argument between two men at the AM/PM Mini-Mart in Elk Grove Wednesday night, police said Thursday.

The argument took place at 9:32 p.m. at gas station, located at 9590 Harbour Point Drive. During the argument, someone fired a handgun before fleeing in a dark-colored vehicle.

No victims were located, according to a report from the Elk Grove Police Department.

It is unclear if the shooter was one of the people involved in the argument and if the handgun was fired in the air or at someone, said Officer Christopher Trim, spokesman for the police department.

January 15, 2009
One arrested in probe of theft at Sacramento charity

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police officers are investigating two former nonprofit employees for allegedly stealing money from the organization and have arrested one of them.

Olivia Armstead and another person were employees with SAR, or Service Advocacy Respect for persons with mental disabilities/developmental disabilities until their firings last year, said Jacob Richey, board president for SAR.

Armstead, who was the office manager, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant for embezzlement, police said. She allegedly created fictitious payroll checks to herself, said Officer Konrad Von Schoech, Sacramento Police Department spokesman.

Von Schoech sad police are investigating the second former employee for embezzlement, but no charges have been filed.

That person, who The Bee is not naming because he has not been arrested, allegedly set up another buyer for the donated items. Those items were sold and he allegedly pocketed about $100,000 in cash for them, Richey said.

January 15, 2009
Rocklin PD seeks pair in armed robbery

From Sandy Louey:

Rocklin police are looking for two women they believe are connected to an armed robbery.

The robbery occurred at 1:25 p.m. Jan. 10 in the parking lot of the Rock Creek Shopping Center, Sunset Boulevard and Park Drive. A woman with two young children was robbed at gunpoint and her purse was stolen, according to a press release.

Through a tip from a resident, police have identified two women who are persons of interest in the case. Surveillance photos of them were released (photos below) and police are asking for the public's help in identifying them.

The women may be associated with a black four-door Honda Accord, late 1990s or early 2000s model with tinted windows. The car was last seen exiting east onto Sunset Boulevard from the shopping center parking lot, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police's investigations unit at (916) 625-5400 or Detective Corporal Rich Cabana at (916) 625-5414.


January 15, 2009
Coast Guard rescues 2 men, dog from Delta island

From Bee Staff:

Two men and their dog got an unexpected helicopter ride, courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard, after their boat ran aground in the Delta near Rio Vista.

(At the bottom of this story is a video of the rescue supplied by the Coast Guard.)

That area of the Delta is dotted with small islands that can be hazardous to small boats, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard gave this account of the rescue:

Coast Guard Station Vellejo received a distress call Tuesday night at approximately 9 p.m.

The Coast Guard sent a 25-foot boat to rescue the stranded men on Tuesday night, the craft could not get close enough for a rescue.

A Coast Guard swimmer delivered a cell phone to the men so they could stay in contact and then the Coast Guard boat returned Wednesday morning.

In daylight, the boat's crew could see that the water was too shallow to rescue the men and the dog.

A MH-65 rescue helicopter, from Air Station San Francisco, was diverted from a routine patrol to rescue the two men. The men and the dog were lifted off the island at approximately 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The two men and dog were transported to Concord Airport around 3 p.m. They were all reported in good condition.

To see a video of the rescue, click the following:

January 15, 2009
Woman accused of stealing from Sacramento charity sought

goodenough.jpgFrom Niesha Lofing:

Sacramento police are asking for help in finding a woman accused of embezzling $225,000 from a local charity.

Officers are trying to find Donna Joe Goodenough, 46, who worked as an office manager for Options in Supported Living, a local community service organization, Sacramento police Officer Konrad Von Schoech said.

A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

The organization provides help for people with disabilities so they can live in their own homes.

Goodenough, who had full control of the organization's finances, allegedly forged and passed about 100 fraudulent checks against the organization from January 2007 to May 2008, he said.

"She was writing checks to herself in varying amounts," Von Schoech said. "She was found out during an audit."

Goodenough also allegedly made several unauthorized purchases using one of the organization's credit cards, Von Schoech said.

Anyone with information about Goodenough's whereabouts is asked to call police Det. Claressa Wilson at (916) 808-0537.

January 15, 2009
Rocklin PD car again struck by a suspected drunken driver

Newell, Rosemary.jpgFrom Bee Staff:

For the second time in eight days, a drunken driving suspect has struck a Rocklin Police Department car, a police spokesman said.

The latest incident occurred at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday, when a police car was struck by another vehicle at a slow speed in the drive-through lane of a local McDonald's, said Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka in a news release.

Officers noticed symptoms of intoxication from the driver, Rosemary Newell (left photo), 67, who arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. There was little damage to the either vehicle. The officer and Newell suffered no injuries, Milka said. She was booked into Placer County Jail and subsequently released with a promise to appear in court.

"Rear ending a police car while intoxicated is a sure fire way to be arrested for DUI," Milka said.

As reported in Sacto 9-1-1, on Jan. 7, A Rocklin police officer was injured after his patrol car collided with a vehicle driven by a suspected drunken driver at Pacific Street and Midas Avenue. The officer was taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries and was released. The officer is still off work because of his injuries, Milka said Thursday.

In the Jan. 7 incident, Michael Lansom, 25, of Fair Oaks displayed symptoms of intoxication and was arrested on suspicion of felony driving while intoxicated, Milka said.

January 15, 2009
Domestic violence suspect causes Citrus Heights school lockdowns

From Niesha Lofing:

Two Citrus Heights schools were briefly locked down this morning while police looked for a man suspected of domestic violence.

Mesa Verde High School and Sylvan Middle School were placed on lockdown at 7:45 a.m. while Citrus Heights police searched for a man in connection with a domestic violence call, police Lt. Ray Bechler said.

Police were called to the neighborhood north of Old Auburn Road about 6:20 a.m. after getting a call of a domestic dispute.

"He was in the back yard of the home and ran to an aunt's house, supposedly," Bechler said.

Police were trying to find the man down and set up a perimeter around the schools.

The lockdowns were lifted at 8:10 a.m. after police determined the man was no longer in the area.

The man has no criminal history but does have a restraining order that needs to be served on him, Bechler said.

Police no longer are actively searching for the man but will follow up on leads with the case, Bechler said.

January 15, 2009
Crime Alert: Authorities seek burglary, ID fraud suspect

turley  011209.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department North Central Division is seeking Terrie Nana Turley (left photo) on a felony $30,000 bail arrest warrant for suspicion of burglary, unlawful use of personal identifying information and possession of completed checks with intent to defraud, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

Turley, also known as Terrie Lichnock or Carol Napoli, is described as age 43, 5-foot-6, weighing 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last known to live in the 7500 block of La Bella Circle In North Highlands, authorities said.

Anyone with information about Turley is urged to contact Crime Alert at (800) AA-CRIME or (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 15, 2009
Men dressed as cops busted after alleged Camino home invasion

144-baker_highlight_prod_affiliate_4.jpg alex.JPG

From Niesha Lofing and Sandy Louey:

Two Sacramento men are facing felony charges after they allegedly dressed as law enforcement officers and robbed an El Dorado County home.

Harvey Curtis Baker, 47, of Sacramento, and Alexios Konstantin Alexander, 40, of Sacramento, were arrested on suspicion of felony robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, kidnapping and false imprisonment with violence, according to online jail information.

They are being held without bail in El Dorado County Jail in Placerville.

The suspects were caught and arrested after a foot chase that began when an El Dorado County sheriff's deputy went to the home on the 4000 block of Carson Road in Camino at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a 911 emergency call that had been cut off.

The deputy found he had interrupted a home invasion robbery, with the suspects having fled out a back door upon the deputy's arrival, sheriff's Sgt. Bryan Golmitz said in a news release.

The two had pushed their way into the home through the front door. Both men were dressed in law enforcement clothing that included duty belts with a gun, badges, vests and jackets with "SHERIFF" lettering, Golmitz said.

The deputy chased the men and saw them climb over a backyard fence, he said.

One suspect tripped and dropped his weapon. He and the other suspect, who remained armed, continued running, heading in opposite directions.

The deputy followed the armed suspect, Golmitz said. As the man ran, he started removing the duty belt that held his weapon. The deputy caught the suspect after jumping fences and crossing a creek.

The other suspect was apprehended and held by one of the robbery victims with a neighbor's help.

The victims were not injured.

The jacket worn by one of the men had Placer County Sheriff's Department patches. Two guns, a 22-caliber handgun and a BB gun that resembled a firearm, were recovered at the scene, Golmitz said.

The motive behind the home invasion remains under investigation, he said.

It is unclear how the men obtained the law enforcement clothing, but a detective with the Placer County Sheriff's Department had items stolen from his unmarked car last year, said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

The items included a sheriff's department jacket, gun belt and hat, she said.

Golmitz said residents can take some precautions to avoid being a victim of people impersonating law enforcement officers.

Ask for name, badge number and a photo identification. Call dispatch to confirm the officer's identity and that the officer was dispatched to the location, he said.

January 14, 2009
3 sought in bogus travelers-check scam

From Sandy Louey:

Sacramento police are looking for three people who are allegedly altering travelers checks and using them to buy items that are returned for cash.

On Dec. 28, a woman bought a jacket at the Nordstrom at Arden Fair using a $500 MoneyGram travelers check from SaveMart, said Officer Konrad Von Schoech, a Police Department spokesman.

Afterward, she went to the first floor of the store and met up with a man and woman (see photos from security cameras at bottom). The trio went to another part of the store and tried to make another purchase using a travelers check, police said.

They left after the cashier indicated that she would need to get approval for the check, Von Schoech said.

The three are buying travelers checks for $1 and altering them so it the denomination reads $500. The checks are used to buy high-end items at department stores. The items are then returned for cash, Von Schoech said.

He said police believe the group is using this tactic at department stores in the Sacramento region and encouraged retailers to be vigilant.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (916) 264-5471.




January 14, 2009
Lodi burglary suspect camped in attic, cops say

lodi.JPGFrom Sandy Louey:

Lodi police are looking for a burglar who allegedly was getting into a woman's home through an attic.

At 9:25 a.m. Wednesday, a woman in the 400 block of Louie Avenue was home with her child when a man dropped into her hallway from the attic access. The woman recognized him as Daniel Gabriel Dimas Jr., (left photo) her neighbor's 26-year-old son, according to a press release.

Dimas reportedly was getting into the attic from his mother's half of the duplex. Dimas isn't welcome at his mother's home, but somehow got into it, police said.

The woman yelled at Dimas, who ran out of the front door. He had brought a small stepladder that was tied to a rope. He had tied off one end to the rafters and lowered it into the woman's hallway through an access panel, police said.

Police said they believe he was going to use the ladder to go back to the attic after burglarizing the woman's home. Dimas' items such as clothes, cell phone and a methamphetamine pipe were found in the attic along with two flashlights and screwdrivers.

Over the past several months, the woman had been missing personal items, but she didn't realize Dimas was coming into her home from the attic, police said.

Dimas is described as being 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds and has brown hair and eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (209) 333-6727.

January 14, 2009
Roseville police accepts applications for citizen's academy

From Sandy Louey:

Roseville police are accepting applications for its Citizen's Police Academy, which begins March 10.

During the six-night academy, participants will learn about the operations, organization and policies of the police department.

The academy is open to people who live or work in the Roseville area and are at least 18 years old. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged.

The academy will be held on March 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19. All classes will run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Police Department, 1051 Junction Blvd.

For more information, including a brochure and application, call (916) 774-5057 or go to

January 14, 2009
CHP gives DA hit-and-run case against deputy

From Stan Oklobdzija:

The California Highway Patrol has submitted findings in a hit-and-run case against a Sacramento County Sheriff's deputy to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office last year, which has not yet filed charges, district attorney and CHP officials said Wednesday.

On Oct. 30, sheriff's deputy David Smolich allegedly hit a motorist on his sheriff's department motorcycle on southbound Highway 99 near Mack Road, said Officer Michael Bradley, CHP spokesman.

The CHP concluded their investigation in early November, Bradley said, and submitted their findings to the District Attorney for possible prosecution, he said. A DA spokeswoman said she could not immediately determine the status of the case.

Smolich has not been charged with any crime, according to court records.

January 14, 2009
Medical director at jail arrested on drug charge

1peter scott dietrich.jpg

From Andy Furillo, Sam Stanton, Chelsea Phua and Sheila A. Kern

The medical director of the Sacramento County jail system was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of writing unauthorized OxyContin prescriptions, possibly for his own use, authorities said.

Dr. Peter Dietrich has been in charge of the Sacramento sheriff's medical operation at the downtown jail and the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center since July 2007. He had previously been medical director of university health services at UC Berkeley for 14 years.

State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement agents arrested Dietrich at 10 a.m. Wednesday at sheriff's headquarters in downtown Sacramento. He posted $5,000 bail and was released a few hours later.

BNE Special Agent Michelle Gregory said the investigation into Dietrich began in July when his name "popped up" in the state and federal tracking system that monitors prescriptions for widely abused painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, and other controlled substances.

"It appeared he was writing high amounts of prescriptions at high dosages for OxyContin," Gregory said. "There is no indication of trafficking. Right now, they believe he may have been using it."

A woman who answered the door at Dietrich's residence declined comment.

OxyContin is a highly addictive painkiller that's gained a huge black market following since it was developed in 1996, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

State drug agents booked Dietrich, 51, on 21 counts - seven for writing unauthorized prescriptions, seven for fraudulently obtaining controlled substances and seven for illegal possession of them.

Gregory said agents searched Dietrich's residence and that the investigation is continuing.

Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness said BNE officials informed his department "several weeks ago" that Dietrich was under suspicion. He said the Sheriff's Department took no action other than to ensure that he did not have any contact with jail inmates.

As medical director, Dietrich worked in an office at a location away from the jail and would not regularly have such contact anyway, the sheriff said.

His primary duties were overseeing all medical staff and decisions at the jail, and his annual salary is $198,966.

"We have cooperated with them (BNE)," he said. "We did not want to do anything to interfere."

BNE officials informed the Sheriff's Department on Wednesday that they were prepared to arrest Dietrich, and sheriff's officials asked him to come down to headquarters for a meeting.

When he arrived, he was arrested inside the office of Capt. Jamie Lewis, down the hall from the sheriff's office.

McGinness said Dietrich was always professional and helpful. When the sheriff contracted an ear infection two summers ago, Dietrich asked after him several times, McGinness said.

The sheriff said that Dietrich also cared about maintaining the health of jail inmates.

"He's an extremely bright guy and always a pleasant guy," McGinness said.

"It's a huge loss. It's a sad day."

At Berkeley, Dietrich oversaw university health services before he left the campus in May 2007 to take the job in Sacramento.

"He was very highly regarded by his professional colleagues here," campus spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said.

Gregory, the state drug agent and spokeswoman for the BNE, said investigators do not know how many illegitimate prescriptions Dietrich may have written or the amounts of drugs involved. She said some of the prescriptions were legitimate and that agents have to sort them out.

She said both the BNE and the DEA monitor the tracking system "so people don't doctor shop and abuse prescriptions" and "so they can make sure doctors are not writing too many of them."

"When you start seeing the same name pop up multiple times for the same thing over ... time, investigators are going to look at it and say something's not right," Gregory said.

January 14, 2009
Couple killed in fatal Loomis fire identified

From Sandy Louey:

The Placer County Coroner's Office has identified the couple killed in last week's fatal house fire in Loomis.

The two were Frank Konrad, 83, and Anne Konrad, 73, said Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

The Konrads, who had been married since 1954, were killed a Jan. 8 fire that destroyed their home at 7750 King Road. They had lived in their home since moving from El Dorado County in 1978.

January 14, 2009
Teen arrested for reportedly burglarizing Antelope ATM

From Sandy Louey:

A 15-year-old Antelope boy was arrested Tuesday for allegedly burglarizing an ATM in Antelope.

The incident occurred after 2 a.m. Dec. 30 at the SAFE Credit Union, 7883 Walerga Road. A metal bar was used to try to pry open the ATM machine. He was unable to get to the cash inside, but caused significant damage to the machine, according to a news release from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

The boy was arrested after detectives received a tip. The boy was arrested on suspicion of burglary and booked into juvenile hall.

January 14, 2009
Man drowns in Placer County canal

By Sandy Louey:

A man drowned in an Auburn PG&E canal Wednesday, authorities said.

A worker with the Placer County Water Agency saw the man in the Lower Wise Canal and called 911 at 11:46 a.m., Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.

Two dive team members with the Sheriff's Department recovered the man's body as it floated downstream, authorities said.

There doesn't appear to be foul play involved, Erwin said. The man's identity will be released after the next of kin has been notified, she said.

January 14, 2009
Three men face murder charges for 2001 beating

011409-71.JPG Houston.JPG Maldonado.JPG

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento police have issued arrest warrants for three men they believe are responsible for the June 2001 beating of a man who slipped into a coma and died earlier this year, authorities say.

All three suspects -- Billy Jackson (above, left photo), 30, Hosie Houston (center photo), 31, and Jason Maldonado (right photo), 28 -- are in custody for unrelated crimes, police Sgt. Norm Leong said.

On June 20, 2002, the three men allegedly beat 40-year-old Wilbur Jackson III. The beating, over a financial debt, occurred In the 7400 block of Franklin Boulevard, Leong said. Jackson went into a coma and died in May as a result of his injuries, Leong said.

Maldonado has been charged with murder. Arrest warrants have been issued for Houston and Jackson, and they also will be charged with murder, Leong said.

January 14, 2009
Crime Alert: Burglary, grand theft suspects wanted

moreno  011209.jpgThe Sacramento Police Department is seeking two suspects on felony $50,000 bail arrest warrants for suspicion of residential burglary and grand theft, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

Angelica Delicia Moreno (left photo) is described as age 20, 5-foot-2 weighing 145 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last known to live in the 4400 block of East Nichols Avenue in the Fruitridge Pocket area of Sacramento, according to authorities.

ramos  011209.jpg

Anna Gabriella Ramos (right photo) is described as age 21, 5-foot-4 weighing 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Also known as Anna Vargas, Ramos was last known to live in the 100 block of Creeks Edge Way in the Parkway area of Sacramento.

Anyone with information about Moreno or Ramos is urged to contact Crime Alert at (800) AA-CRIME or (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 14, 2009
Three Redding police officers are promoted

From Niesha Lofing:

Moving up the ranks -- Three Redding police officers have taken up new positions this year.

Eric Wallace, Jeff Wallace and Aaron Maready were promoted Dec. 28, Redding police Chief Peter T. Hansen stated in a news release.

Sgt. Eric Wallace was promoted to lieutenant and will oversee the department's field operations division. Wallace has been a police officer since 1988, having previously worked for the Lassen County Sheriff's Office and the Salinas Police Department. He has worked for the Redding Police Department since 2000.

Corporal Jeff Wallace moves up to the rank of sergeant, assigned to the field operations division as a supervisor. He began his law enforcement career in 1990 and has worked for the Lassen County Sheriff's Office and Santa Rosa Police Department. He has been with Redding police since 2001, the release states.

Officer Maready was promoted to the rank of corporal and also will be assigned to the field operations division as a supervisor. Maready is a Redding native and started his law enforcement career in 1989 with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

January 14, 2009
Man sentenced to 11 years in prison -- drugs, pistol found in airbag

From Niesha Lofing:

A Vallejo man will spend more than 11 years in federal prison after he offered to sell crystal meth to an informant and authorities found drugs and a pistol hidden his vehicle's airbag compartment.

David Michael Capenhurst, 26, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento to 11 years and three months in prison and five years of federal supervised release for his crimes, according to a news release by the office of U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown.

Capenhurst pled guilty to distributing methamphetamine in October.

According to prosecutors, Capenhurst admitted that he offered to sell a highly pure form of crystal methamphetamine to a confidential informant. Shortly after the drug deal was arranged, Vallejo police detectives stopped the man's car for a series of vehicle code violations and searched the vehicle.

They found a small amount of marijuana and $1,050 in the center compartment of the car, prosecutors said.

A police dog trained to find drugs alerted officers to additional narcotics. When detectives pried open an area designed to house an airbag on the passenger's side of the car, they found a hidden compartment containing 9 1/2 ounces of crystal meth in four separate plastic knotted bags, a digital scale and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol that had been reported stolen, the release states.

The street value of the crystal meth was about $13,500, prosecutors said.

At the sentencing hearing Tuesday, Judge John A. Mendez said the sophistication of the drug trafficking and Capenhurst's validated street gang membership factored into the severe sentence, the release states.

January 14, 2009
Convicted murderer pleads no contest to another killing

From Andy Furillo:

An already-convicted killer has pleaded no contest to the 1978 murder of a waitress who was stabbed to death inside her Carmichael apartment.

Willie Bee Thomas, 59, entered his plea Monday in Sacramento Superior Court after he had been found mentally competent to stand trial, according to court records. He will be sentenced Feb. 6 by Judge Steve White.

Thomas was charged in August 2002 with the 1978 slaying of 20-year-old Sharon Wilcoxson after his DNA match turned up on a search of state prison samples. He had been serving a life prison term for the 1980 residential robbery murder in Sacramento of Avon Coates.

January 14, 2009
Guns 'n Hoses fundraising football game scheduled Jan. 24


Local police and firefighters are getting ready to rumble - on the football field, that is - during next week's Guns 'n Hoses game.

The seventh annual game between the Hogs - aka, law enforcement - and the Dogs - firefighters - is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Sacramento State University football stadium, 6000 J St. This year is the competition's 35th anniversary of the Pig Bowl, the event's old name.

Prior to kickoff, local law enforcement and firefighting agencies will hold a safety fair beginning at 11 a.m. A police K9 show will entertain viewers at halftime, and bands from El Camino and Natomas high schools will perform.

Proceeds benefit local charities, including the Firefighters Burn Institute, the Mustard Seed School at Loaves & Fishes, WIND Youth Services and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Toy Project.

Tickets cost $10 (children 5 years old and younger are free) and can be purchased at Blumenthal Uniforms, 3133 Arden Way, or online at

January 14, 2009
Old-West police badges mark Roseville's centennial

252-circlestarbadge_embedded_prod_affiliate_4.jpgFrom Niesha Lofing:

Some Roseville police officers are sporting new badges from a bygone era.

Officer Lance Young, the police department's historian, had a silver circle star badge designed to honor the city's 100th anniversary, police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said in a news release.

Some officers and police personnel have purchased the badges at their own expense and are planning to wear them on their uniforms throughout the year, she said.

Police retirees also were offered the chance to purchase the commemorative badges.

The circle star badge was widely used by law enforcement during the late 1800s and early 1900s and is a familiar emblem of the American West, Gunther said.

The department has a faded photo from 1909 that shows Roseville City Marshal Frank Rossman in civilian clothing, wearing a circle star badge on his vest.

Back then, police in the young railroad town consisted of city marshals and night watchmen who used the Barker Hotel on Lincoln Street as their headquarters, she said.

Officers who chose not to purchase the special badges will continue to wear their city-issued badges, a seven-point star that includes the words "Roseville Police" and the state seal.

The badges are not available for purchase by the general public.

January 13, 2009
2 Shasta County teens arrested after deputies assaulted

From Sandy Louey:

Shasta County Sheriff's Department deputies arrested two 17-year-old boys for allegedly stealing bikes and assaulting deputies.

Sheriff's reports gave this account:

At 2:30 p.m. Monday, a deputy was called out to the parking lot of the Rite Aid, located at 37435 Main Street in Burney, about a stolen bike.

The person who reported the crime told the deputy that two boys had forced his brother off his bike near Rite Aid. When the person responded to find those responsible, the boys threatened him with a knife and also took his bike.

The deputy spotted the boys, with one of them on the stolen bicycle. They ignored the deputy's command to stop.

The deputy stopped the boy on the bicycle, who tried to assault him. The boy also threatened and assaulted the additional deputies who were called out, authorities said.

The second boy, who had run away on foot, was found back near the Rite Aid parking lot in an altercation with the two robbery victims. Deputies responded and arrested the boy, according to the sheriff's department.

The two boys, who were from Burney and Montgomery Creek, were arrested on suspicion of two counts of armed robbery, two counts of conspiracy, and resisting arrest.

The Burney boy also was arrested on suspicion of three counts of assault on a police officer, authorities said.

Both boys were booked into juvenile hall.

January 13, 2009
Armed bank robber sought in Elk Grove

From Sandy Louey:

Elk Grove police are seeking an armed man who robbed a Bank of America on Tuesday afternoon.

Police received the call at 3:23 p.m. A man, armed with a silver handgun, went into the bank at 10046 Bruceville Road. He fled with an undisclosed amount of money, according to Officer Christopher Trim, spokesman for the police department.

Police were unable to locate the man after a search of the nearby residential area that lasted for almost two hours. The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's helicopter and a K-9 were used in the hunt for the robber, Trim said.

The bank robber is described as an African American man in his 20s who is 5 feet 9 inches tall and had a skinny build. He had a dark-blue hooded sweatshirt and dark blue sweatpants, Trim said.

A bank security guard was taken to a local hospital as a precaution, he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Elk Grove detectives at (916) 478-8060 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

January 13, 2009
Suspect sought in attempt to kidnap two boys

From Sandy Louey:

Rancho Cordova police said today that officers are looking for a man who attempted to kidnap two 11-year-old boys Monday.

Police believe the same person is behind the two separate attempts. The first incident was reported at 2:24 p.m. by a boy walking on Mapola Way near Williamson Elementary School, according to a press release from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, which Rancho Cordova contracts with for police services.

Officers responded at 2:42 p.m. to the second incident that involved a boy walking near Cordova Lane Elementary School on Cordova Lane, police said.

In both cases, a man drove up to the boys and asked them to help find his lost dog. The boys refused and fled, police said.

The first boy said he saw a small, black semi-automatic pistol in the man's car, but the pistol was not used to threaten him. The second boy reported that the man tried to grab him through the window of the car, police said.

Authorities said the first child ran to Williamson Elementary and notified the staff. The second child ran home and told his mother.

Officers were unable to locate the man or the vehicle. The attempted kidnapper is described as a Latino man in his 30s. He had black hair, a mole on the left side of his face and he was unshaven with a goatee, authorities said. He wore a black baseball hat and a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

The man's vehicle was described as a mid-sized four-door sedan that was either black or dark green in color.

The two boys are scheduled to meet with a sketch artist on Wednesday. An earlier report mistakenly said they were to meet with the sketch artist today.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

January 13, 2009
Yolo juvenile detention center sets open house

From Sandy Louey:

The Yolo County Juvenile Detention Center will hold an open house in February.

The open house is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at the facility, 2880 East Gibson Road in Woodland.

Staff from the facility and the Yolo County Office of Education and volunteer groups will provide information about what they do to rehabilitate youth.

There will also be guided tours. Check in for the tours will start at 5 p.m.

January 13, 2009
Shades of 1848: Pair arrested for alleged claim jumping

From Sandy Louey:

The Placer County Sheriff's Department has arrested two men for allegedly claim jumping in Foresthill, the department said today.

On Friday night, the owner of Wildcat Mining Company waved down a sheriff's deputy near his claim on Mosquito Ranch Road. Using night-vision equipment, the deputy saw three men with flashlights, according to a sheriff's press release. The deputy ordered via a bullhorn the men to come out of the rugged, steep canyon, the release said.

One man fled, but Mark Alan Stuck, 51, of Elk Grove, (bottom right) and Steven Silva, 52, of Newcastle, (bottom left) hiked out of the canyon, the release said. The suspects had a metal detector, two rock picks and a hammer, the release said.

Stuck and Silva were arrested on suspicion of attempted grand theft from a mining claim. They were booked at the county jail and released Sunday with a promise to appear in court Jan. 27.

silva steven.jpg

stuck mark alan.jpg

January 13, 2009
David Richie, reporter, frequent Sacto 9-1-1 contributor, dies

richie.jpgFrom Robert D. Dávila:

David Richie, a Northern California journalist who reported for The Bee and its former Neighbors publication, died Monday of acute pancreatitis. He was 57.

Richie covered regional communities and crime for The Bee, working mostly in bureaus in Folsom and Roseville. He began working at the paper's Neighbors section in 1997 and became a Bee metro reporter when the publications formally merged in 2002.

He most recently covered neighborhood crimes and arrests for The Bee in El Dorado, Placer and eastern Sacramento County. An enthusiastic reporter, he spent hours digging through mounds of police reports to uncover interesting and offbeat stories about neighborhood crime patterns and criminals.

"Dave volunteered for the cop beat," Bee assistant city editor Bill Enfield said. "He was excellent. He found his niche."

Richie also covered local government and neighborhood issues in suburban Sacramento County, including Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale and Folsom. Well-known and well-sourced in the community, he was a regular at city council meetings and neighborhood watch events.

Click here for more details about Richie.

Editor's note: David Richie was a frequent contributor to the Sacto 9-1-1 blog. He loved landing offbeat stories off the crime beat. Here is one from January 2008 that was featured on "The Tonight Show":

Beer had seat belt, injured driver didn't

Investigators were trying Monday to determine if a suspected drunken driver involved in a single-vehicle crash Sunday night failed to buckle his own seat belt even as the 12-pack of beer on the passenger seat was safely secured.

Witnesses told police they saw the man driving north on Van Maren Lane in excess of 60 mph before he lost control of his car, which slammed into a tree near Garden Gate Drive.

The driver suffered serious head and body injuries and he was rushed to a local hospital.

He was found still in the driver's seat, unrestrained, next to the 12-pack of beer secured by a seat belt, according to a police summary.

January 13, 2009
Sacramento jury convicts man of New Year's Day '07 killing

From Andy Furillo:

A Sacramento jury took less than a day of deliberations before it returned to court today and convicted Myron Jerome Hardy of the 2007 New Year's Day murder of Danny Hickman.

Hardy, 19, sat impassively while jurors gave their verdict to Superior Court Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle. Hardy faces a possible maximum term of 50 years to life in prison at his sentencing, which the judge scheduled for Feb. 27.

"I feel justice was done," said Leron Golden, the older brother of Hickman, who was 26-years-old at the time of his death.

Hardy was convicted of jumping out of a crowd of revelers at a street party in Del Paso Heights and shooting Hickman to death while the victim was engaged with a dispute with another man over a parking space.

Deputy District Attorney Valerie Brown said she was "relieved" that jurors sifted through the conflicting statements several witnesses gave to investigators in the days after the shooting and their testimony at trial. Brown described the jury as "attentive, smart" and "not naive."

"They paid attention, even with the delays through the holiday recesses," Brown said. "They worked together really well."

Defense attorney C. Emmett Mahle said he was "disappointed the jury didn't spend more time with the evidence."

The jury foreman, who asked that his name not be disclosed, said Hardy's statements and behavior on jail audio and videotapes provided the panel with some of its most compelling evidence. The foreman said he felt that Hardy made "several admissions" on the tapes that pointed to his guilt.