Sacto 9-1-1
May 30, 2009
Pair arrested after deputies called to "bloodless" bullfight

From Sarah Frier:

A sheriff's deputy and an animal cruelty investigator were injured while trying to stop an illegal bullfight in San Joaquin County on Friday, authorities said Saturday.

Two men were arrested for allegedly assaulting them, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The fight in Thornton, about 30 miles south of downtown Sacramento, was the third in a week during which bulls were poked with sharpened spikes on the ends of sticks, or bandoleras, said Jane Garrison of Animal Cruelty Investigations.

According to the release, the animal cruelty investigator had come from Los Angeles on a tip that the bulls in the so-called "bloodless" bullfight would be injured. The bulls were supposed to be shot with bloodless Velcro darts, but would instead be stabbed by nails.

Garrison said the spikes were disguised to make them look harmless.

When the animal cruelty investigator attempted to grab the bandoleras, he was put in a chokehold by Darren Nunes (photo bottom left), 24, and almost lost consciousness, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

After the bandoleras were thrown into the center of the bull ring, a hostile crowd gathered around the investigator, the release states.

As sheriff's deputies who were on scene attempted to gain control of the crowd, one of them was allegedly attacked and injured by Cesar Rocha (photo bottom right), 39, the release states. The extent of the deputy's injuries was not available.

Rocha was arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and inciting a riot, the release states.

Nunes was arrested on suspicion of battery and assault with a deadly weapon, the release states.

Garrison said the same person provided bulls for all three events this week.

When Animal Cruelty Investigations personnel showed up at the Central Valley fight, they loaded the bulls back onto the trucks and left, she said.

Animal Cruelty Investigations is a non-profit organization through the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with authority to appoint humane officers, according to its Web site.

They've stepped up their efforts to stop bull fighting in California as a result of this week's activities, Garrison said.

Mugshot For Darren Nunes.jpg

Mugshot For Cesar Simones Rocha.jpg

May 30, 2009
Man wounded by 2002 shooting dies; it's now a murder case

From Cathy Locke:

A man wounded in a 2002 shooting in Sacramento died Friday of complications from the injuries.

Sacramento Police Department officials announced today that they are investigating the death of Shawn Chaney, 40, as a murder case.

Chaney was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a friend at 2:38 p.m. Jan. 30, 2002, when a vehicle described as a four-door silver Ford Taurus drove up quickly behind the victims, then pulled next to their car. The passenger in the Ford Taurus fired several shots at Chaney and his companion.

The suspects were described as black males, and the passenger was wearing a ski mask, a police news release issued today stated.

Both victims were hit by gunfire and drove themselves to UC Davis Medical Center.

A 2002 account of the incident in The Bee said the shooting occurred at 34th and T streets. Chaney reportedly was shot in the neck and his companion was shot in the arm.

Both men survived, but Chaney's wounds left him quadriplegic, the news release states.

The Sacramento Police Department asks anyone with information about the shooting to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357 or text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information.

Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

May 30, 2009
ID of woman killed when struck by a car still withheld

From Cathy Locke:

The identity of a woman who died Thursday when she struck by a car on Roseville Road was still being withheld this morning, pending notification of her family.

A Sacramento County Coroner's Office spokeswoman said the victim was 26 years old and a Sacramento resident. Officials were trying to contact her parents.

The woman was struck by a westbound car about 2 p.m. Thursday. Sacramento Police Department investigators said at the time that they believed the woman walked into the path of the car.

May 29, 2009
Man sentenced to prison for bribing Northern California city officials

From Sarah Frier:

A Novato man was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison for making more than $200,000 in bribes to at least six Sacramento, Sonoma and San Francisco public officials, according to an Attorney General's office press release.

Sheldon Morris, 77, pleaded guilty last year to paying bribes to city employees between 1999 and 2007 through recycling scrap metal from used water meters, the news release states.

About five employees of Sacramento's Water Distribution Branch would provide him with the used water meters, which he sold for profit, the news release states.

"The use of bribes and kickbacks to influence the actions of city employees in Sacramento, Sonoma and San Francisco deprived the citizens of those communities from decisions made solely in their best interests," acting U.S. Attorney Brown said.

May 29, 2009
CHP: Minivan driver who struck bicyclist sought

From Sarah Frier:

California Highway Patrol officers are seeking a suspected hit-and-run driver who struck a bicyclist Thursday evening.

The 38-year-old bicyclist was hit by a minivan and thrown onto the windshield, a CHP news release states. He was transported to Mercy San Juan Medical Hospital with major injuries, including a collapsed lung, CHP officials report.

The bicyclist had been riding an orange mountain bike about 25 mph in the right lane of Arden Way just west of Mendota Way. A silver or light-colored minivan was traveling faster behind him, then hit him, the news release states.

The victim described the driver as a woman more than age 50 with gray hair and light skin. The minivan had right front hood damage and a broken windshield, the release states.

Anyone with information is asked to call the CHP at (916) 338-6710.

May 29, 2009
Man gets 36-plus years for Meadowview slaying

From Andy Furillo:

A Sacramento man was sentenced to state prison for 36 years and eight months today for the shooting death of a 36-year-old woman in a Meadowview park nearly three years ago.

Superior Court Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard imposed the term on John Tafuna Faavesi, 20, as a result of the no-contest plea he entered last month for the slaying Sylvia Guerrero. Faavesi had initially been charged with murder in the 2:45 a.m. shooting Aug. 6, 2006, in Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

The homicide was one of three that took place within one mile and 29 hours of each other. Two men have since been convicted and are awaiting sentencing in one of the other cases while the third remains unsolved.

May 29, 2009
Cops: Party dispute turns hot, man fatally shot

From Bill Lindelof:

A homicide investigation is under way in the shooting of a man last Sunday in Oak Park in Sacramento.

Christopher R. Montejano, 20, died Thursday at UC Davis Medical Center from injuries suffered when he was shot at a party he attended Sunday in the 3700 block of 18th Avenue, according to a Sacramento Police Department news release.

Officers responded to the location about 8:30 p.m. Sunday after gunshots were heard. They then learned that a man had been shot and had been driven away.

Later, officers were notified that a friend had dropped off the victim at the medical center. Montejano had been shot multiple times and was in critical condition, police said.

Investigators believe that Montejano was at the party when a dispute escalated and he was shot.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000

May 29, 2009
Pedestrian struck, killed along Roseville Road

From Bill Lindelof:

A woman died Thursday when struck by a car while walking westbound in the 3900 block of Roseville Road, according to the Sacramento Police Department.

At about 2 p.m., a westbound car hit the woman, who was not identified pending notification of family. Sacramento police investigators believe that the woman walked into the path of the car.

The accident occurred within Sacramento city limits.

Officers do not believe that speed or alcohol was involved in the fatality.

May 29, 2009
Sacramento PD to offer online police activity reports

From Kim Minugh:

Beginning this weekend, Sacramento residents can get an online glimpse into the daily happenings on city streets.

The Police Department is posting daily summaries of calls on its Web site,, under "Daily Activity." The summaries, prepared by patrol sergeants and edited for public release, do not reflect all calls responded to by officers, but instead "calls of interest," like those that lead to arrests or prompt further investigation, said department spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong.

He said the summaries can give residents an idea of "what's going on in their city."

"It'll give a perspective for a lot of people ... the types of incidents that officers deal with on a day-to-day basis," Leong said.

The summaries are edited to remove sensitive information, such as victims' and witness' names, or details that are part of an ongoing investigation, Leong said. All summaries, however, will include the call's time, location and the general nature of the call.

Anyone who read the summaries and thinks they might have additional information for police should call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

May 29, 2009
Sac Metro to close 3 stations in money-saving move

From Bill Lindelof:

Three fire stations in the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District will close in an effort to cut into an $11 million budget shortfall.

The district's board of directors took action to close the stations Thursday night.

Metro Fire, which serves suburban communities surrounding Sacramento, relies on property tax revenue, which has plummeted due to decreasing property value.

The closures are estimated to save the district $4.5 million. To make up the remainder, the district is considering possible layoffs of non-firefighters, buyouts and leaving unfilled open positions created by retirement.

The nature of remaining cuts has not yet been determined, said district spokesman Capt. Christian Pebbles.

"That is all in negotiation with labor and management," said Pebbles. "You are probably going to see some people go. We are going to have to."

The stations -- 33, 64, and 102 -- would be closed until better economic times when re-opening would be evaluated again, said Pebbles. The stations could be closed in about a month.

Station 33 is on Main Avenue in Orangevale, Station 64 is on Vancouver Drive in the Rosemont area and Station 102 is on Marconi Avenue near Eastern Avenue, Pebbles said.

The good news, Pebbles said, is the district will maintain an average fire response time of seven minutes. Response time is how long it takes between dispatchers receiving a call and when firefighters arrive on scene.

"When times were good and property values were high, we got fat," said Pebbles. "Now that the money is not there, we are getting leaner."

Pebbles said the district has an obligation to the community to make cuts. He said it is not anticipated that firefighters would be laid off.

About a year ago, the district hired a consulting firm to look into what fire stations could be closed with the least impact on response time.

"These fire stations that will be closed were not just pulled out of a hat," said Pebbles. "It was a strategic decision. The stations were chosen based on the ability of neighboring stations to respond quickly and the three stations having lower call volume than other stations."

He said Sac Metro employees have given up negotiated pay raises. The district will continue to tighten its belt to make it through tough times, he said.

May 29, 2009
Sex customers are target of Watt Avenue sting

From Sarah Frier:

Twin Rivers detective Margueritte Dias wore big hoop earrings and a low, white tank top. She went by the name "Cici."

She was one of five detectives and deputies Thursday night posing as prostitutes on Watt Avenue so Sacramento County sheriff's personnel could arrest the "johns" -- men who pay prostitutes for sex. By midnight, they'd arrested about 16 men and one prostitute.

Dias' get-up must have been convincing, because a real prostitute approached and warned her that the cops were around, she said.

"I was like, 'Aw, shoot, girl.' " Dias said, getting into character. "We talk a little street talk."

She and others acting as prostitutes were hooked up to microphones so their transactions could be recorded. The johns were arrested once they arrived in a hotel room with the undercover officers.

Problem Oriented Policing operations, under which Thursday's sting operated, have resulted in about 260 prostitution-related arrests during the last year and a half, said Deputy Kate Adams, organizer of Thursday's operation.

The johns are charged with solicitation for prostitution and usually get about 10 days in jail and a fine and have their vehicles impounded, Adams said.

Going after sex customers is tougher than targeting the purveyors, she said.

"With this, we have to staff so many locations for safety," Deputy Thomas Lynn said as he monitored video of the room holding busted johns.

In addition to officers posing as prostitutes, more than 20 sheriff's personnel participated in the operation, making arrests, monitoring surveillance and ensuring the safety of undercover officers. They worked from 8:30 p.m. until 1 a.m., sustained by energy drinks and pizza. An operation targeting prostitutes usually involves about eight officers, Lynn said.

The program was response to complaints from South Watt Merchants business owners who said prostitutes have been using drugs in store bathrooms and keeping customers away, Adams said.

The Watt area is a hot spot for prostitution because of the inexpensive hotels and proximity to a light rail stop and freeways, Adams said.

Looming budget cuts could result in elimination of Problem Oriented Policing, Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran said.

"If they cut POP, this whole corridor is going to go sideways," Dias said.

May 29, 2009
Updated: Wife's suspected killer arrested in Dixon

From Bill Lindelof:

The husband of a Winters woman missing since April 12 was arrested on suspicion of murder Thursday night in Dixon, Winters police officials report.

Felipe Cruz Hernandez, 39, was detained by Dixon police officers at 8:30 p.m. at a convenience store, a Winters police news release states. Winters police responded to the scene and verified the suspect's identity before arresting and taking him to the Yolo County Jail without incident, Winters police said. The couple's 10-year-old's daughter was found in her father's vehicle and is safe, officials said.

After new evidence was recovered and new information obtained Thursday, Winters investigators said they believe missing woman Leticia Barrales Ramos is a homicide victim, authorities said.

It was initially reported that Ramos had a family emergency in Mexico and left early April 12. Police later determined there was no family emergency, the news release states.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact the Winters Police Department at (530) 795-4561.

May 28, 2009
Ex-teacher pleads no contest to inappropriate sexual contact with student

From Sarah Frier:

A former Sacramento County high school teacher pleaded no contest Thursday to felony and misdemeanor charges related to inappropriate sexual contact with underage students, according to a news release from District Attorney Jan Scully's office.

The release states that Eric Gladden, while working at Futures High School, engaged sexually with one female student, sent vivid text messages to others and provided alcohol to students at his home.

He made fake "teacher meeting logs" at the school to cover up his actions, the news release states.

"The sexual offenses in this case are made even more egregious given that they were committed by a person in a position of authority," said Casey Newton, deputy district attorney.

A co-defendant, Monica Alarcon, already entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor charges for falsifying documents to assist Gladden, the news release states. She faces 90 days in county jail, the news release states.

Gladden's sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 16 in Department 30 of the Sacramento County Superior Court.

May 28, 2009
Update: Elk Grove cop, others accused of lying on mortgages

From Chelsea Phua:

An Elk Grove police officer allegedly lied on his mortgage and refinance applications to obtain loans with cash-equity totaling tens of thousands of dollars, according to an affidavit in Sacramento's federal court.

Hidayatullah Ali Khalil, 29, a three-year veteran of the department, was among three people who appeared on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows on felony charges of mortgage-related fraud.

His brother, Amanullah Khalil, and his brother's wife, Muzdha Khalil, were also accused of a separate "equity stripping mortgage fraud scheme," according to court documents.

All three entered not guilty pleas and are free on $75,000 unsecured bonds each.

None of the allegations against Ali Khalil was related to the officer's duties as an Elk Grove police officer, according to the department. Khalil has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

According to the affidavit, Ali Khalil bought two residential homes - one on Jillson Way in Elk Grove in April 2005, and another one on Paseo Drive in Watsonville in September 2005.

Ali Khalil refinanced each of the properties twice within months of the original closings. In each of the four transactions, he would list each property as his only and primary residence, the affidavit states.

He also inflated his income, saying that he earned twice his actual salary, the affidavit states.

Authorities said his false statements "made qualifying for the refinancing easier, and was material to the bank in approving the loan application."

On one occasion, Ali Khalil was able to obtain $14,000 in cash from the refinancing and on another occasion, $90,256, which he transferred to his brother, Amanullah Khalil, the affidavit states.

Both homes had gone into foreclosure by 2008, the affidavit states.

Ali Khalil later admitted to investigators during an interview in May that he had never lived in the house on Jillson Way, the affidavit states.

Defense lawyer Bill Portanova, who is representing Amanullah Khalil, said outside the courtroom that he has not seen any of the evidence yet.

"What appears to be a simple mistake when the real estate market is hot, is a mistake," Portanova said. "When the real estate market crashes, a mistake can look like a crime."

May 28, 2009
Stuck in Lodi (jail) again

Nearly one person for every 1,000 Lodi residents was arrested in city limits over the three-day Memorial Day weekend, according to reporter Layla Bohm of the Lodi News-Sentinel.

Here's what she reported in the Lodi newspaper:

The 60 arrests included two police pursuits, an arrest in a previous attempted murder case, six drunken drivers and the arrest of a female parolee previously convicted in a kidnapping case.

The arrest total is higher than normal, and it wasn't due to any special enforcement, Lodi Police Sgt. Bill Alexander said. Police attributed it to warm weather and the holiday weekend, which makes more people drink alcohol.

"We always tend to have a higher number of arrests in the summer months, because people are outside more, school is out (and) gang activity goes up," said Officer Hettie Schaeffer, who worked all weekend but hadn't realized exactly how many people were arrested.

The first of two weekend pursuits -- not a common incident in Lodi -- started at 10:11 p.m. Saturday. An officer saw a GMC pick-up truck that had been used in a recent Guild Avenue burglary, said police, who later identified the driver as Daniel Zuniga, 32.

Officers tried to stop Zuniga near Washington and Lockeford streets, but he allegedly sped up, headed north on Highway 99 and reached speeds of 80 mph. Zuniga threw drugs out the truck's window as police chased him, Cpl. Dale Eubanks said.

The truck exited at Grant Line Road and then headed back south. The California Highway Patrol took over the chase, using patrol cars and a helicopter. They stopped the truck at Liberty Road, using a spike strip to deflate the vehicle's tires.

Zuniga was arrested and arraigned in court Tuesday on charges of evading police, possession of narcotics for sale and transportation of narcotics, as well as an enhancement of serving a prior prison term.

He pleaded not guilty and a judge set his bail at $80,000, according to

San Joaquin County court records.

Four hours after that pursuit started, citizens called police when they saw two people stealing a car stereo in the 1700 block of Lakeshore Drive, Dale Eubanks.

Officers arrived at 2:03 a.m. Sunday as the suspects fled in a Buick car. Police chased them south briefly, until the driver, 19-year-old Daniel Garcia, of Lodi, crashed into a light pole at Century Boulevard and Mills Avenue, Eubanks said.

There were no reports of injuries and both Garcia and his passenger, 19-year-old Nicholas Oster, were arrested without incident, Officer Hettie Schaeffer said.

They were charged in court Tuesday with misdemeanor theft and possession of burglary tools. Garcia was also charged with felony evading police.

An hour earlier, police arrested parolee Jessica Ramos, 29, during a traffic stop at Pine and Sacramento streets, Schaeffer said.

Ramos was initially stopped because her vehicle lights were not properly working, but she was ultimately charged with giving police a false name and drug possession.

Ramos is also accused of violating her parole in connection with an October 2004 arrest, when she was one of six people charged with kidnapping a Lodi man and assaulting him for 20 hours to force him to reveal the location of a friend. A jury convicted Ramos of false imprisonment and a firearm enhancement, and she was sentenced to three years in prison.

Other weekend arrests included a couple who were arrested for falsely reporting a crime -- claiming a man had threatened them during a child custody dispute but subsequently denying it.

And a Galt man was arrested after leaving a fake check to pay for his $14 meal at Denny's in Lodi. Police found him across the street trying to get work done on a pick-up truck at Pep Boys, but then learned that the truck had been stolen. The check used at Denny's had also been stolen, police said.

May 28, 2009
Man pleads to felony over $80,000 in missed child support

From Bill Lindelof:

A sentencing date of Sept. 23 has been set for a Sacramento man who pleaded guilty to three counts, including one felony, related to failure to pay more than $80,000 in child support.

Jason Matthew Maggi, 32, entered his plea May 19 in Placer County Superior Court. Maggi owes $81,304 in child support, according to a press release from the Placer County District Attorney's office.

During a February preliminary hearing, Deputy District Attorney Carl Mayhew presented evidence to establish that Maggi fathered the child of a Placer County woman in 1999. The press release said Maggi went years without making required child support payments even though he appeared to lead a lavish lifestyle.

After the preliminary hearing, the judge held Maggi to answer on a felony charge of failure to maintain a child under the age of 14 and on 31 misdemeanors, the majority related to missed support payments.

Maggi was scheduled for trial May 19. Instead, he pleaded guilty to the felony count and two misdemeanors, Mayhew said.

May 28, 2009
Man in Placer County Court admits crime spree

From Bill Lindelof:

A Citrus Heights man has pleaded guilty to four felony charges, including two counts of burglary and a count each of stealing a vehicle and recklessly fleeing an officer.

Daniel Joseph Homan, 21, entered his plea May 19 in Placer County Superior Court. Homan, who is scheduled to be sentenced July 9, faces a maximum prison sentence of 18 years and four months.

According to a Placer County District Attorney's Office press release, Homan broke into homes on separate occasions in May 2008, taking car keys and driving away in the burglary victims' vehicles.

Once, according to Deputy District Attorney Rick Opich, Homan abandoned a vehicle taken in Roseville after crashing in Citrus Heights. In another, he took a vehicle in Citrus Heights, and while being chased into Roseville by the California Highway Patrol, crashed into a creek, Opich said. He was captured as he tried to flee.

May 28, 2009
Suspected Auburn robbers pause to puff before being busted

From Bill Lindelof:

Two teenagers were arrested on suspicion of robbery but not before deputies say they fired up two pricey cigars stolen from an Auburn-area smoke shop.

Kevin Navarrete, 18, and Eduardo Heredia, 19, both of Roseville, were booked on suspicion of robbery Wednesday. Deputies suspect they held up the Millenium Smoke Shop on Lincoln Way about 3 p.m.

Taken in the robbery was cash and cigars. Placer County sheriff's deputy Bob Brodovsky spotted a car matching the description of the getaway vehicle on Interstate 80 and followed it to Roseville.

When officers stopped the car, they found a pellet gun and two recently smoked cigars in the ashtray. The two cigars were identified as Acid Kuba Deluxe, which sell for about $12 each, deputies said.

May 27, 2009
Man accused of contacting girl, 10, through computer

From Sarah Frier:

Folsom Police today arrested a 53-year-old man on suspicion of annoying and seducing a 10-year-old girl, police spokeswoman Cindy Allen said.

When police detectives identified Gerald Ivor Edwards, they noted that he was already registered as a sex offender, Allen said.

The 10-year-old girl told her mother she was receiving sexually explicit messages on her computer, Allen said. The mother went on the computer and pretended to be the child, and when she received explicit messages and pornographic images, she called the police, Allen said.

Edwards is now in custody at the Sacramento City Jail, Allen said.

"This is a great reminder to parents to be aware of who their children are talking to on these social networking sites," Sergeant Brian Dean said.

May 27, 2009
Former El Dorado Hills man arrested for real estate fraud

From Chelsea Phua:

A 59-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested today for allegedly bilking at least 16 victims - most of them El Dorado Hills residents - of nearly $1.7 million in various real estate and securities fraud schemes over a 3-year period, authorities said.

Richard R. Betchley, a former El Dorado Hills resident, has been charged with 28 felony counts of grand theft and securities violations that included bank fraud, according to a news release by the El Dorado County District Attorney's office.

He is being held on a $5 million bail.

Authorities also allege that Betchley committed multiple counts of tax evasion.

The six-month investigation also involved members of California Department of Corporations and Franchise Tax Board.

May 27, 2009
Accused double murderer dies in El Dorado County jail

From Bill Lindelof:

The woman accused of killing two people in El Dorado County last year has died, the county sheriff's department said today.

DanaLeighDodd.JPGDana Leigh Dodd (left), 49, died from natural causes just after midnight Tuesday in the El Dorado County Jail, authorities said.

"She was in the infirmary with a terminal illness," said sheriff's spokesman Lt. Bryan Golmitz. "It was not unexpected. She had been in a hospice program."

Dodd was awaiting trial on charges related to the shooting deaths last year of two women, Patrica Sackett, 46, and Janet Emily Bergen, 73, who died July 17, 2008, at a home in the 3900 block of Leisure Lane in Pleasant Valley, about 15 miles southeast of Placerville.

Reports at the time of the killings said a woman at the Pleasant Valley home called 911 saying she had been shot. When deputies arrived at the home they found the two women with gunshot wounds.

One died at the scene and the other died while being taken to the hospital. When Dodd was charged in the shootings, reports indicated that she was allegedly waiting for her ex-boyfriend at the home when the two women showed up.

Motive for the shooting was never fully explained by authorities. Deputies found Dodd after the shooting in the mountainside neighborhood.

May 27, 2009
Man allegedly snatches his girlfriend after casino losing streak

From Bill Lindelof:

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies have arrested a man on suspicion of taking a woman companion away from a casino against her will.

Security officers at Red Hawk Casino in El Dorado County reported seeing a woman being dragged toward a pickup by a man shortly before midnight Thursday.

A sheriff's deputy intercepted the pickup at Highway 50 in the Bass Lake area. Investigators said the couple had a dating relationship and that the man became angry when they began to lose money.

The man, Luat Tran, 29, of Elk Grove was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, domestic violence and driving under the influence.

May 27, 2009
Bat brawl in Galt sends one fighter to hospital, another to jail

From Bill Lindelof:

One person was taken to the hospital and another was arrested Tuesday night after brawling youths attacked each other with baseball bats in Galt.

Galt police said they responded to a reported melee on the 1000 block of Lake Park Avenue about 5:30 p.m. Officers found several youths had been fighting with bats, and one person had been hit in the head. That person was taken to a local hospital.

Another fight participant was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

May 26, 2009
Yolo County DA offers fraud prevention talk for seniors

Bee Staff

The Yolo County District Attorney's Elder Protection Unit will host a fraud prevention talk Friday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the West Sacramento Senior Center, according to a news release.

Fraud schemes are evolving so continuing education is essential to protect yourself, the release states.

Teaching older adults to recognize and avoid scams is an effective tool to combat crime, the release from DA Jeff W. Reisig states.

May 26, 2009
Busy Memorial Day and night for one Sac PD command

From Bill Lindelof:

Memorial Day and may have been a holiday but Sacramento police officers were busy in the city's north command well into the early morning hours of the next day. Here's a partial list of crimes worked by the officers from the daily activity log:

- Officers responding to a stabbing about 4 a.m. found a person in the road at Fairfield Street and Redwood Avenue. The victim had several stab wounds and was severely bleeding. Following a trail of blood to an apartment on Fairfield Street, the officer found a 29-year-old man with blood on him.

He was arrested on suspicion of assault. His name was withheld.

The 30-year-old victim was described in serious condition but expected to survive.

--Two officers stopped a bike rider about 6 p.m. near Rio Linda Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue and once they learned he was on probation, initiated a search. Officers allegedly found cocaine and heroin packaged for sale.

But the events did not end there.

The suspect, Kory Thornton, 28, allegedly headbutted one officer and then took a swing at both officers in an attempt to get away.

He ran north on Rio Linda Boulevard but slipped as he tried to make a turn. He was taken into custody after a struggle with officers, police logs say.

- Officers made a stop of a vehicle leaving Sandcove Park on the Sacramento River, suspecting driving under the influence. Inside the car was a loaded .32-caliber handgun.

- An officer made a stop of a man on a bike about midnight near Thelma Avenue and Azusa Street. The bicyclist was on probation so the officer conducted a search.

The man was found to be carrying a bag of spark plugs, which police say is a common tool for burglars wanting to break windows.

The man, who also had a stolen credit card, was booked into jail on stolen property and possession of burglary tools.

- A stolen, speeding vehicle went out of control at the intersection of Colfax Street and Arcade Boulevard. The vehicle hit a parked car and then crashed into a house in the 100 block of Arcade Boulevard.

Officers said there was minimal damage to the house and that the driver has not been found.

May 26, 2009
Notebook: Not a lot of family love in these crime reports

Editor's note: Notebook is an occasional series on slices of life found by The Bee's police reporters and editors.

The theme would be mothers and sons from several recent Sacramento Sheriff's Department crime reports.

The message would be that for some families there's not a lot of love left.


On May 14, a 49-year-old mother hit her 17-year-old son on the side of the head, hard enough to require the son to seek medical attention. Mom fled before deputies arrived at the residence in the 6200 block of Ranier Way.

On May 14, deputies went to a residence in the 7200 block of Jerry Way to conduct a probation search on a woman. They smelled a "strong odor of unburned marijuana." They found weed packaged in bags next to a digital scale. In the room of the woman's 18-year-old son, they found "separate pay/owe sheets." Mom stayed home but the budding young executive got a ride to jail.

On May 14, a 20-year-old violated the restraining order his 42-year-old mother had against him by going to her residence in the 3500 block of Kings Way, forcing his way past her into the home and falling asleep on the floor where he urinated on himself. Deputies noted he smelled "strongly of alcohol" before applying the steel bracelets.

On May 12, a 15-year-old boy argued with his 46-year-old mother, which escalated to him spitting on her and pushing her. He then physically kept her from leaving the room in a residence in the 9300 block of Sungold Way. Deputies booked the son into juvenile hall "due to the likelihood the offense would continue."

On May 19 in the 5700 block of 42nd Street, a 29-year-old mother became so enraged at her 6-year-old son while he was taking a bath that she pushed the boy's head "under the bath water" and held it there. The woman's boyfriend rescued the son before he was injured. Both her children were place in protective custody and she was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment.

May 26, 2009
Cops: Having sex near school bad move for couple

Bee Staff

Two people picked one of the many wrong places to have sex in public - near an elementary school, according to a Sacramento Sheriff's Department report released today.

At about 11:30 a.m. on May 22, the couple were engaging in visible "sexual activity" in a vehicle parked at Polk Street and Myrtle Avenue near Oakdale Elementary School in view of a woman and her 4-year-old daughter, according to the report.

Things went from bad to worse for the one of the suspects, the report states, when deputies found a "narcotic smoking pipe" in the purse of Frances Rangel, 43, who also was on parole.

Her parole officer revoked her parole, the report states.

Rangel and Robert Sanders, 62, also were cited for indecent exposure, the report states.

May 25, 2009
Victim of apparent shooting shows up at UCD med center

From Cathy Locke

Sacramento police are investigating a shooting that occurred shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday in the 3700 block of 18th Avenue.

Sgt. Norm Leong said that police received a call from an individual who reported hearing gunshots, and that a victim arrived at UC Davis Medical Center with critical injuries believed caused by gunshot wounds.

No further information about the victim was available this morning.

May 22, 2009
Two Mesa Verde High students arrested on suspicion of sexual assault

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Citrus Heights Police arrested two male juveniles Thursday afternoon for allegedly sexually assaulting another student on the Mesa Verde High School campus, the Citrus Heights Police Department said.

Police were called to a home at about 6 p.m. Thursday to investigate a reported sexual assault that had occurred on the Mesa Verde campus after school hours, according to a news release.

Detectives were called out, and after they determined the identity of the assailants, arrested them on Friday, police said.

Both juveniles were booked into Sacramento County Juvenile Hall on sexual assault charges, police said.

May 22, 2009
Notebook: Gifts for some jury members after trial ends

Editor's note: Notebook is an occasional series on slices of life found by The Bee's police reporters.

From Chelsea Phua:

At the conclusion of a Placer County trial that ended in a hung jury, some lucky jurors received gift cards to Starbucks and Target.

From a small cup, Superior Court Judge Joseph O'Flaherty picked out pieces of paper with names of the few winning jurors, which included foreman Rex Miller.

O'Flaherty joked that he may have to start looking for sponsors to provide the gift cards. Jurors laughed.

This light-hearted turn of events came after about two days of deliberation for jury members, who struggled to determine if an off-duty Sacramento County Sheriff sergeant was guilty of drunken driving.

The sergeant, Christopher D. Guerrero, was pulled over by a Roseville police officer on Douglas Boulevard near Harding Boulevard the early morning of Oct. 4, 2007. He was allowed a ride home without being arrested or cited, even though authorities said he failed his field sobriety test and had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit.

The incident ignited public outcry after it was leaked to the media.

May 22, 2009
Police: Warning shots fired outside Meadowview middle school

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento police responded to calls of shots fired outside of a Meadowview middle school late Tuesday afternoon, according to a police report.

The incident occurred about 4:40 p.m., after school hours.

Officers arrived and spoke to witnesses who said they were confident the noises could be attributed to firecrackers, according to the police report. But officers later found shell casings on the ground, confirming gunshots.

Officers believe the shots were fired up into the air to intimidate or scare, and were not aimed at anyone or anything, said Sacramento police Sgt. Norm Leong. He said officers are not sure what motivated the incident.

May 22, 2009
Robber confronts North Natomas woman exiting shower

From Kim Minugh:

A woman exited the shower Wednesday morning to find a man waiting in her bedroom, demanding money, according to a Sacramento police report.

The home-invasion robbery occurred about 9:30 a.m. in the 3400 block of Colchester Avenue in North Natomas. The suspect apparently had entered the home through an open window, according to the report.

The homeowner left the shower and was confronted by the suspect, the report states. He demanded money from her, and because she said she had none, he demanded other specific, but undisclosed, items. The man fled with the items, according to the report.

The suspect was described as an African American man in his 20s, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing a white T-shirt and faded stonewashed jeans, the report states. He had a black flip phone in his hand.

May 22, 2009
Fence jumper alerts police; arrest follows

From Kim Minugh:

After committing a crime, avoid jumping fences in front of cops. It might draw attention.

Such was the alleged mistake of 33-year-old Contrell Pleasant, who finds himself in the Sacramento County Main Jail on one count of assault with a deadly weapon and a probation violation, according to jail booking records.

According to a Sacramento police report, two patrol officers were headed to the North Sacramento area early this morning when they noticed a "suspicious subject" who jumped a fence and started running in front of them. That's where it all went south.

The officers stopped the man and, while checking his identification, a man approached and said the subject had just tried to stab him, the police report states. The man had a cut to his neck area to prove his point, according to the report.

Officers arrested and booked Pleasant in jail. He remains there, held in lieu of $90,000, booking records show.

May 22, 2009
Mother pleads no contest to killing baby with breast milk

From Andy Furillo

A Sacramento woman whose infant daughter died last year after consuming methamphetamine-contaminated breast milk has pleaded no contest to a single count of felony child abuse.

Maureen Hoffart, 46, entered the plea on Wednesday and is scheduled to be sentenced June 17 by Superior Court Judge Laurie Earl.

Hoffart is expected to receive a four-year suspended state prison sentence, according to her attorney, Kate Carlson. Under the plea agreement, Hoffart will serve 90 days of a year-long county jail sentence, then be confined to house arrest for the remainder of the term. She also will be placed on four years probation and could be sent to prison if she violates its conditions.

According to a police summary of the case, Hoffart admitted to ingesting methamphetamine for two days while breast-feeding her eight-week old daughter, Olivia DiPinto, before the baby died on Jan. 1, 2008.

Carlson said that Hoffart has been off drugs since the death of her daughter and is now raising the baby's twin, Anthony, as well as two boys who are 13 and 10. She also is still living with the children's father.

"They have a very tight, very close-knit family," Carlson said.

Case prosecutor Morgan Gire could not be reached today to comment about the case.

May 22, 2009
Arrest made in connection with body found near Rancho Cordova garbage bin

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives have arrested a 46-year-old man in connection with the discovery of a 19-year-old's body behind a Rancho Cordova garbage bin earlier this week.

Jeffrey Bruce Campbell was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail late Thursday night on one count of murder, jail booking records show. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Campbell is accused of stabbing a man to death Tuesday morning and dumping his body behind a trash bin in a business complex on Fite Circle, said Sgt. Tim Curran.

Curran identified the victim as Frederick Howard, 19, whose last known address was in Sacramento.

Deputies were called to 3100 Fite Circle about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday after an employee at one of the businesses in the complex discovered the body while taking out the trash.

Initially it was not clear what trauma the body had suffered or how the body got there. Detectives later determined through interviews with people who knew Howard that Campbell was the last person to see him alive, Curran said.

Campbell and Howard argued, and then Campbell stabbed the man somewhere in Rancho Cordova early Tuesday morning, Curran said. Campbell then dumped Howard's body on Fite Circle -- a randomly chosen location -- shortly thereafter, Curran said.

Detectives are investigating whether the homicide was drug-related.

Sheriff's homicide detectives have investigated 12 homicides in their jurisdiction so far this year, including a fatal officer-involved shooting. The only case in which a suspect is outstanding is the Jan. 10 shooting death of Leel Wilson.

May 22, 2009
DUI trial for Sac County sheriff's sergeant ends with hung jury

From Chelsea Phua:

A Placer County judge has declared a mistrial in the case of an off-duty Sacramento County sheriff's sergeant who is accused of driving drunk when he was pulled over by a Roseville police officer in 2007.

After deliberating for two days, a jury was unable to agree on whether Christopher D. Guerrero, 42, was guilty of misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.

Prosecutors had argued that Guerrero's blood-alcohol content was 0.16.

His case sparked a public outcry because he was allowed a ride home the night of Oct. 4, 2007, without being arrested or cited, even though authorities said he performed poorly on a field sobriety test.

He was charged days later, after news of the incident leaked to the media. In addition, two sheriff's officers, who were behind Guerrero in another vehicle, reportedly yelled at the Roseville officer, Bruce Hagler, not to arrest Guerrero and threatened a "war" if he did.

During the trial last week, a videotape from the officer's patrol car was played to jurors.

Guerrero could be heard apologizing profusely to Hagler, pleading with the Roseville officer to "cut him a break," prosecutor Kyle Jibson said in his closing argument.

Defense Attorney Michael Bowman said his client was apologizing because he knew that as a law enforcement officer, he shouldn't even be driving with one drink, but that did not mean he was too drunk to drive.

Guerrero wasn't slurring his speech or stumbling when the Roseville police officer pulled him over on Douglas Boulevard near Harding Boulevard at about 12:45 a.m., Bowman said in his closing argument.

May 22, 2009
Authorities suspect homicide in Nevada County man's disappearance

From Bill Lindelof:

The Nevada County sheriff says that a man who disappeared last month may be the victim of a homicide.

Isaiah Eli Marsh, 30, was reported to have been missing since April 14. The sheriff's department issued a news release about a week later seeking help finding Marsh, whose black pickup truck was also missing.

On May 15, the pickup was found in Riverside County, and the sheriff's department believes Marsh could be dead. His possible death might be related to involvement in the sale of marijuana, said Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal.

The pickup, which was dusted for fingerprints, was returned to Nevada County.

Marsh, whose residence is in a rural area north of Nevada City, was growing marijuana, Royal said. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's department at (530) 265-1471.

"We want to hear from anyone who knows what he was doing prior to his disappearance," he said. "He was growing and selling locally. We knew that he had a larger quantity and may have had a deal going. Who was that with? That's what we want to know."

May 22, 2009
Jackson Road crash victim identified

From Bill Lindelof:

The man killed Thursday morning in a single-car crash on Jackson Road has been identified as Craig Edward Alires, 37, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said.

Alires, a Sloughhouse resident, died when his car left the roadway and collided with a power pole about 1 a.m. Thursday. The accident occurred on Jackson Road between Excelsior Avenue and Sunrise Boulevard, knocking down the pole and starting a small grass fire.

May 22, 2009
Police: Dispute over services at Lodi day spa leads to manager's arrest

From Stan Oklobdzija:

An overly aggressive shop manager was arrested after she allegedly threw a rock at an Iraq War veteran who refused a sex act in her Lodi massage parlor, Lodi Police officials said.

Nga Thi Khuu, 42, was taken to the San Joaquin County Jail after an incident Thursday afternoon at the Royal Day Spa in the 200 block of Lodi Avenue, police said.

When a 32-year-old man from Oregon went to the business to get massage treatment on a gunshot wound he received while serving in Iraq, Khuu allegedly offered sexual favors for $50, according to Lodi police. The man refused, but Khuu was persistent, police said.

Finally, the man became fed up with the offers and decided to leave, but not before Khuu demanded $50 from him, according to police. When the man said no, Khuu threw a rock at the man's car, causing a large dent, police said.

Khuu then threw another rock at the man, hitting him in the chest, police said. The man fled and called police, who arrived and arrested her on suspicion of battery, vandalism and prostitution solicitation, police said. An immigration hold was also placed on Khuu, police said.

May 21, 2009
Arrest made in West Sacramento fatal shooting

From Kim Minugh

West Sacramento police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with last night's shootout that left one man dead and five people injured.

Michael Wayne Moniz Jr. of West Sacramento was arrested on charges of murder and attempted murder, according to a news release issued by the West Sacramento Police Department.

His alleged role in Wednesday night's shooting on Cummins Way remains unclear.

The news release also states that Adrian Villanueva, described by police Wednesday night as a "person of interest," has been interviewed and is not a suspect in the case. His older brother, 32-year-old Joe Villanueva, was killed in the exchange of gunfire on the 1100 block of Cummins Way.

The shooting broke out about 6 p.m. when two men armed with handguns approached a house and began shooting, said West Sacramento police Lt. Tod Sockman.

People inside the house came outside and returned fire with a shotgun, Sockman said.

Joe Villanueva collapsed in the street. The other alleged attacker was shot in the head and is expected to survive, Sockman said.

Also injured in the shootout, in which more than 15 shots were exchanged, was one of the Cummins Way home occupants and two elderly bystanders, Sockman said.

All three are expected to recover, he said. A fifth victim took himself to an area hospital following the shooting and was said to have non-life-threatening injuries.

May 21, 2009
Reported abduction attempt heightens security at Orangevale school

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies and San Juan Unified officials are at an Orangevale school today after an 8-year-old student reported that a man tried to abduct her Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

Deputies responded to a call of an attempted abduction at Green Oaks Fundamental School just before 3 p.m., a news release by Sgt. Tim Curran states.

An 8-year-old girl told deputies she was leaving a campus restroom after school had been dismissed when a man tried to grab her, Curran wrote. When she broke away from his grasp, the man ran away.

The girl ran to a nearby classroom and told her mother and a teacher about the incident, according to the district.

The girl described her attacker as an adult man about 5-foot, 10-inches tall, weighing between 150 and 170 pounds with dark gray hair. He wore red knee-length shorts, Curran's release states.

School officials have notified parents about the incident. The extra personnel on campus today are there to "ensure everyone's safety" and answer questions, Curran wrote.

On the district Web site, officials are urging families to "maintain an extra level of caution" and discuss safety practices with children, including walking in pairs or groups, being alert of your surroundings and reporting suspicious activity to an adult.

"Safety of our students and staff is the top priority in our district," the Web site states.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

May 21, 2009
Suspect in alleged sexual assault near Sacramento River is sought

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento police seek the public's help in identifying a suspect who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman Sunday night.

ABDUCRSUSPECT.JPGThe woman, who is in her 30s, was sitting near the Sacramento River just off the bike trail between the Tower Bridge and I Street when the alleged assault occurred, a Sacramento Police Department news release states.

The victim was wearing headphones and listening to music when the suspect approached her, grabbed her from behind and physically and sexually assaulted her, the release states.

Police described the suspect (left) as an African American male between 40 and 50 years old, 5-foot, 10-inches to 6-feet tall, and between 180 and 200 pounds. He had a medium-length black and a gray "afro" and possibly had a Southern accent. He walked with a limp and wore a short-sleeved plaid shirt, baggy blue jeans, black tennis shoes, and a light-colored baseball cap, according to the news release.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357 or text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

May 20, 2009
Deliberation continues in off-duty officer's DUI case in Placer County

From Chelsea Phua:

Jurors were unable to reach a conclusion today in the case of an off-duty Sacramento sheriff sergeant accused of driving drunk when he was pulled over by a Roseville police officer in 2007.

The deliberation continues Thursday in Placer County Superior Court.

Christopher D. Guerrero, 42, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher.

Guerrero's case sparked a public outcry because he was allowed a ride home the night of Oct. 4, 2007, without being arrested or cited.

He was charged days later, after news of the incident leaked to the media. Two sheriff's officers following Guerrero in another vehicle reportedly yelled at the Roseville officer not to arrest Guerrero and threatened a "war" if he did.

A sheriff's department spokesman said Guerrero and the two officers are still employed at the agency.

May 20, 2009
Update: Victim in Valley Hi slaying identified

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Sacramento County Coroner's officials have identified the victim in Tuesday night's slaying in the Valley Hi area.

Paul Ray Cousins, 21, was killed after being shot on the 7800 block of Summerview Way at about 11 p.m., according to coroner's officials. A 19-year-old friend of Cousins' was taken to UC Davis Medical Center with multiple gunshot wounds, but is expected to live, Sacramento Police officials said.

Investigators are currently looking for two men witnesses say may have shot Cousins, but so far they have no leads, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sacramento Police Department at (916) 443-HELP.

May 20, 2009
Man extradited to Sacramento, accused of '07 Citrus Heights fatal shooting

ext.jpgFrom Stan Oklobdzija:

Citrus Heights Police are extraditing a man from Mexico who's believed to be responsible for the 2007 shooting of a man in Citrus Heights, Citrus Heights police announced today.

Edgar Eduardo Martinez (left photo), 21, was apprehended in Mexico in December, said Lt. Christine Ford of the Citrus Heights Police Department. Since September 2007, police had searched for Martinez in connection with the shooting of Jose Daniel Segura, 23, who was killed in an apartment in the 6000 block of Van Maren Lane.

Martinez was extradited to Sacramento and was booked into the Sacramento County Jail early this morning, jail records indicate. He's being held on the homicide charge as well as an immigration detainer, since Martinez was in the country illegally, Ford said.

Martinez will be arraigned on Thursday, according to court records.

May 20, 2009
17-year-old arrested in connection with Rosemont fatal shooting

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies have arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with Tuesday morning's fatal shooting of 30-year-old James Davis in the Rosemont area.

But detectives suspect the boy, whose name has not been released because he is a juvenile, was acting in self defense - and in defense of his mother, Davis' girlfriend - when he shot Davis, said sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran.

On Tuesday, authorities said the couple had been fighting inside their La Quinta Drive apartment before the shooting occurred. On Wednesday, Curran said Davis had "severely" beaten his girlfriend, and that the woman's son followed Davis out of the apartment and shot him after a confrontation.

The boy was booked into juvenile hall on a murder charge, Curran said. However, the boy has since been released from custody, though the charge still stands. Curran said the District Attorney's Office is reviewing the case and will decide whether it was a justifiable homicide.

May 20, 2009
Convicted murderer convicted of another murder

From Andy Furillo:

A convicted murderer was convicted again Tuesday of murdering another convicted murderer in cell they shared at California State Prison -- Sacramento.

Jose Armendariz, 40, who was already serving one life term for murder, is scheduled to sentenced to another such term June 19 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ronald W. Tochterman.

Armendariz was convicted in the May 25, 2005, bludgeon-strangulation slaying of cellmate Raymon Escobar, 52, who also was serving a life term for murder, according to prison spokeswoman Judy Loer. Both Armendariz and Escobar were from Los Angeles.

According to Loer, investigators also found a print from Armendariz's shoe embedded into the victim's head.

May 20, 2009
Cold case testing leads to arrest in 1980 homicide

From Kim Minugh:

A second look by detectives lead to an arrest Tuesday in a 29-year-old homicide case.

Waco Williams, 49, is accused of killing Norman Crawford on the night of Oct. 21, 1980, said Sacramento police officer Konrad Von Schoech.

Williams was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on one count of murder and one count of violating parole, according to booking sheets. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Von Schoech said Williams and Crawford were acquaintances and were among a group of people walking in the area of 8th Avenue and 45th Street the night of Oct. 21. They were cutting through the Donner Elementary School property on their way to another acquaintance's house when shots were fired and Crawford was killed, Von Schoech said.

At the time, homicide detectives identified several suspects, including Williams, but were unable to collect enough evidence to support an arrest, Von Schoech said.

Twenty-nine years later, detectives in the Police Department's cold case unit picked the case back up for another look. They sent several pieces of evidence to the crime lab for modern-day testing, and this month, received enough results to support a request for an arrest warrant, Von Schoech said.

The motive for the killing remains unknown. The case is not yet complete, however, because detectives remain unsure of the involvement of the other people with Crawford and Williams that night, Von Schoech said.

"Because of that, we want to be responsible and careful with details we are releasing in this case," he said.

May 20, 2009
Marysvillle teen speeding in stolen car crashes, dies

From Bill Lindelof:

California Highway Patrol officers said that one person in a stolen car was killed this morning in a high-speed head-on collision.

The 18-year-old Marysville resident driving the stolen car was speeding east on Hammonton Smartville Road in Yuba County when he collided with a car speeding the opposite direction about 5 a.m.

The teen's speed caused him to lose control in curve, and he crossed the center line and slammed into the other vehicle, the CHP reported.

The collision killed the teen and sent the driver of the other vehicle, Yia Thao, 30, of Yuba City, to Rideout Hospital with minor injuries.

An investigation revealed that the car being driven by the teen was stolen from the Olivehurst area, officers said.

May 20, 2009
Prison next for trio that assaulted West Sacramento girl, 14

From Bill Lindelof:

Three people have pleaded guilty in Yolo Superior Court to assaulting a teenager.

Joshua Osborne, 18, is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison when he returns to court July 7. The other defendants, Richard Dazo, 23, and Hilario Estrella, 19, were immediately sentenced to eight years in prison.

A news release from the Yolo County District Attorney's Office says that Osborne threatened a 14-year-old girl in a text message on Jan. 6. The girl's parents alerted West Sacramento police who then made contact with Osborne.

The next day, Osborne was driving in his car with Dazo and Estrella when they saw the girl walking home from school. Osborne let Dazo and Estrella out of the car, and they assaulted the girl.

During the assault, prosecutors said that the girl was told she received the beating for contacting police.

Prosecutors say Osborne, Dazo and Estrella are members of the Broderick Boys street gang. The three entered pleas of guilty to assault to cause harm and admitted an enhancement to the charge that the assault was for the benefit of a street gang, prosecutors said.

The three entered their guilty pleas during the second day of jury selection on Thursday.

May 20, 2009
Photos of alleged Natomas purse snatchers released as search continues

From Bill Lindelof:

Sacramento police are seeking help identifying two teens suspected of purse snatchings at a Natomas supermarket.

CROOK.JPGThe purse snatchings occurred May 1, May 2 and May 14 at the Raley's at 4650 Natomas Blvd. In each incident, the suspects (left) entered the store and sought women shoppers who had their purses resting in shopping carts.

Once the thieves spotted a possible victim, they approached from behind, grabbed the purse and ran from the store. During one of the thefts, the suspects were seen fleeing the area in a black Honda Accord driven by a woman.

Both suspects were described as African-American, between 16 and 18 years old, about 5-feet, 7-inches tall and 155 pounds. One suspect was wearing a light gray sweatshirt with a dark gray hood and sleeves. The other wore a white hooded sweatshirt with a gray checkerboard pattern.

May 20, 2009
Valley Hi shooting kills one man, wounds another

From Stan Oklobdzija:

A 21-year-old man was shot to death and another wounded in the Valley Hi neighborhood Tuesday night, Sacramento police said.

It was the third killing in the Sacramento area since Monday morning.

Officers responding to the 7900 block of Crescentdale Way at about 11 p.m. after hearing several gunshots found two men lying in the street, said Lt. James Beezley of the Sacramento Police Department.

One man was dead and the other, a 19-year-old, was taken to UC Davis Medical Center with several gunshot wounds to his torso, Beezley said. He is expected to survive.

Investigators blocked streets surrounding the scene, which was just a few hundred feet from Samuel Jackman Middle School. Authorities are unsure if a car that was towed from the scene belonged to the shooter or shooters, as some witnesses claimed.

Motive for the slaying was possibly robbery, Beezley said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sacramento Police Department at (916) 443-4357.

May 19, 2009
Roseville man pleads guilty to felony theft charges

From Stan Oklobdzija:

A Roseville man pleaded guilty to various felony theft charges today after being caught impersonating a SureWest Communications employee.

Preston Douglas Vandeburgh, 27, accessed the telecom company's computers, used a company credit card and took a company car, according to a press release from the Placer County District Attorney's Office. The thefts took place between June and December 2008.

Vandeburgh was arrested in Roseville at a friend's home last December, the release said.

Vandeburgh's sentencing is scheduled for June 30. He could face up to 10 years in prison.

May 19, 2009
Police seek suspected purse snatchers targeting women at supermarket

The Sacramento Police Department is seeking the community's help in identifying two suspects wanted in a trio of purse snatchings at a North Natomas supermarket, the Sacramento Police Department reports.

According to a department news release, here's how the suspects operated during the incidents reported May 1, May 2 and May 14:

In each of the incidents, the suspects entered the Raley's market at 4650 Natomas Blvd. and began searching for a female shopper who had their purse sitting in a shopping cart. Once they located their target, they approached the woman from behind, grabbed her purse and ran out of the store.

Both suspects are described as a black males between age 16 and 18 and between 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing between 150 and 160 pounds. One of the suspects was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt with a dark gray hood and sleeves, the other a white hooded sweatshirt with gray stripes in a checkerboard pattern.

During one incident, the suspects were seen leaving the market area in a black Honda Accord driven by an Asian woman, police officials report.

The Police Department asks anyone with information about the purse snatching to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip by texting 274637, then entering SACTIP followed by tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

-- Bee staff

May 19, 2009
Slain suspected burglar no "lowlife," family says as tonight's vigil approaches

From Kim Minugh:

Family members of the suspected burglar killed by a store owner Monday say they will hold a candlelight vigil for the slain man tonight.

They want to counter the public perception that 24-year-old Vincent Paul Arauza was a "lowlife," family members told The Bee.

"He had a family," said his 19-year-old sister, Maricela Arauza. "He was loved by all of us."

Authorities say Vincent Arauza died early Monday morning after he and his younger brother, Sergio Arauza, broke into Marconi Coin & Currency and the shop owner opened fire on them. Vincent Arauza suffered a fatal gunshot wound and died in the store's parking lot.

Sergio Arauza, 21, was arrested on charges of burglary and violating probation. He was not injured.

Maricela Arauza said she and her mother learned of the incident while watching the news Monday morning. She said the loss doesn't yet feel real.

"Right now, honestly, it hasn't hit me," she said. "I'm just blank."

Family members said Vincent Arauza was married and recently enrolled in a program to earn his GED. After completing that program, Vincent planned to get a certificate in culinary arts, they said.

"He talked about how he wanted to change, to go to school and do better for himself," said cousin Diana Arauza, 21. "He realized there's nothing out there without a GED."

Family members did not specifically rebut the events described by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, but another of Vincent's sisters, 18-year-old Maryza Arauza, said she felt people might be jumping to conclusions.

"He was a good person," Diana Arauza said. "I don't know what would have made him want to commit a crime."

Sheriff's detectives continue to are investigate the incident. Based on their findings, the District Attorney's Office will determine whether to file criminal charges against the store owner, who has not been arrested.

The owner, whose store had been burglarized a month prior, told detectives he spent Sunday night in his store so he could meet early Monday morning with a repairman to work on the shop's front door. About 4:15 a.m., the owner called 911 to report that two masked men were trying to get enter his store. The emergency dispatcher speaking by phone with the store owner reported hearing several gunshots.

Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran said the owner shot Vincent Arauza inside the store. The brothers both fled, but Vincent Arauza collapsed and died in the parking lot.

Deputies arrested Sergio Arauza nearby. He remains in the Sacramento County Main Jail today, held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Vincent Arauza was on parole after serving time for second-degree burglary, according to court and prison records. Sergio Arauza was on probation for a 2007 misdemeanor conviction of possessing burglars' tools.

Family members say tonight's vigil will be at 7 p.m. in the store's parking lot at 4949 Marconi Ave.

May 19, 2009
Victim, girlfriend quarreled before morning fatal shooting, authorities say

From Bill Lindelof:

A 29-year-old man was shot to death this morning, reportedly within the hearing of his girlfriend with whom he had quarreled moments before.

Sacramento County sheriff's investigators are piecing together what led up to the killing in a neighborhood heavy with apartments near Folsom Boulevard and La Quinta Drive, east of the Sacramento city limits.

At 5:02 a.m., the sheriff's department received call from a neighborhood resident who reported hearing gunfire and a woman screaming.

When deputies arrived at the 2800 block of La Quinta, they found the victim, identified by Sacramento County Coroner's officials as James Davis of Sacramento, in the street. Paramedics arrive and pronounced the man dead from a gunshot wound to the upper body.

Detectives learned that the victim and his girlfriend earlier had quarreled in their apartment. The victim then left, followed by his girlfriend.

Sheriff's department spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran said the man went around the corner of the apartment building when the girlfriend heard a gunshot.

"The girlfriend is cooperating with deputies and is not under arrest," Curran said.

No witnesses have come forward, no weapon or shell casings have been recovered, and authorities don't have a suspect, Curran said.

May 18, 2009
School janitor on leave pending sex crime charges

From Stan Oklobdzija:

San Juan Unified School District has placed a janitor on administrative leave Monday after district officials learned he is facing two felony and one misdemeanor sex crime charges.

District officials would not confirm that Michael Phillips, 51, was placed on leave because of the charges, citing restrictions of discussing personnel matters.

District spokesman Trent Allen said the district learned of the charges against Phillips on May 15 when contacted by The Bee. Phillips was arrested April 6 and arraigned two days later. He has regularly been showing up for work, Allen said.

Until a few weeks ago when he was transferred to district headquarters because of an unrelated medical matter, Allen said Phillips had worked at several of the district's schools.

Both of his two victims are adults, and neither is connected to San Juan Unified or its schools.

Phillips is accused of attempting to rape a woman who was walking home from work March 30, said Sgt. Janet Schaefer of the Citrus Heights Police Department. She was walking home from work near Sunrise Boulevard and Pebble Beach Drive at about 11 p.m. when Phillips allegedly grabbed her from behind and fondled her, Schaefer said.

The woman managed to escape and provided a description to police, Schaefer said. Based on that description, Phillips was arrested at his Citrus Heights home April 6, she said. The description also connected Phillips to a January incident in which he allegedly exposed himself to an employee at a store on Greenback Lane, she said.

Phillips faces two felonies and one misdemeanor charge for the two incidents, court records show.

May 18, 2009
Burglary suspect arrested; his brother was killed by store owner

By Bill Lindelof and Kim Minugh

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives have arrested the 21-year-old brother of the man killed by a store owner during a burglary this morning, according to authorities.

Sergio Antonio Arauza, 21, was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on one count of burglary and one count of violating probation, said sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran. Detectives detained him earlier today, but initially were unclear whether he was involved in the burglary of Marconi Coin and Currency store in the 4900 block of Marconi Avenue.

Now they allege Arauza was carrying out the burglary alongside his brother, Curran said. The coroner's office identified the dead man as 24-year-old Vincent Paul Arauza.

The store owner has not been arrested. The district attorney will determine if any charges are filed against him, based on results of the sheriff's investigation, Curran said.

Curran said detectives are looking into whether the Arauza brothers were responsible for at least three other burglaries along the Folsom Boulevard corridor.

Today's incident began about 4:15 a.m. while the shop owner was inside his store, which had been the target of a break-in April 29, Curran said. This time, the owner called the sheriff's department to report two men in their mid-20s, wearing black ski masks, trying to enter his store.

Curran said that as the owner spoke on the phone, the person taking the call heard several gunshots.

"Then the business owner said one subject was down in the parking lot," Curran said.

Deputies arrived to find the elder Arauza's body in the parking lot. Fire department emergency personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.

Other deputies in the area saw a man - later identified as Sergio Arauza - near Marconi and Eastern avenues and detained him.

He is being held at the jail in lieu of $100,500 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

May 18, 2009
Teen arrested after chase, allegedly carried guns in his car

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento police arrested a 16-year-old boy this weekend for allegedly having two loaded handguns in his car - a discovery made after the boy had blown several stop signs and crashed into several cars, according to a police report.

Just before midnight Friday, an officer saw a car speed through several stop signs in the area of 21st Avenue and 73rd Street, according to the report. The officer estimated the car was going 80 miles per hour, and turned on his lights and sirens to pursue the car.

The officer temporarily lost sight of the vehicle - until it had crashed into five cars in the area of Toronto Way and 79th Street, in the Colonial Village neighborhood, the report states. The officer located a 16-year-old boy walking away from the car, and found two loaded handguns inside the vehicle, according to the report.

The boy was booked into juvenile hall on two weapons-related charges and one charge related to his driver's license, the report states.

May 18, 2009
Victim of south Sacramento County train incident was Stockton girl, 15

From Bill Lindelof:

Sacramento County coroner's deputies have identified the person killed last week when struck by a train as a teenage Stockton girl.

Baleria M. Melendrez, 15, was killed in rural southern Sacramento County on Friday. News reports at the time indicated that she had been lying on the tracks and arose before being struck.

Deputies were called to the scene near Franklin Boulevard and Dierssen Road at 3:45 a.m.

May 18, 2009
Missing Dixon woman found safe

From Bill Lindelof:

A Dixon woman reported missing last week has been found, her family and Dixon police report.

Susan Morse, 47, who was reported missing Thursday, called home Saturday from a motel in West Sacramento.

Morse, who had suffered from depression for several weeks, has been re-united with her family.

May 18, 2009
No arrest in shooting of alleged burglar by Marconi Avenue shop owner

From Bill Lindelof:

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives continue to investigate the fatal shooting this morning of a man they say was breaking into a coin and jewelry.

The suspect was killed by the owner of the store on the 4900 block of Marconi Avenue. The 65-year-old owner has not been arrested, a sheriff's spokesman said.

The district attorney will determine if any charges are filed against the owner, based on results of the sheriff's investigation.

The shop owner was inside the store when the incident began at about 4:15 a.m. Investigators are gathering evidence that will help determine if the shooting was justified.

Sheriff's Sgt. Tim Curran said two men approached the store, which had been the target of another break-in on April 29. This time, the owner was inside and called the sheriff's department to report two men in their mid-20s and wearing black ski masks trying to enter.

Curran said that as the owner spoke on the phone with department personnel, the person taking the call heard several gunshots.

"Then the business owner said one subject was down in the parking lot," Curran said.

Deputies arrived to find a body in the parking lot. Fire department emergency personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The name of the dead man, who was not carrying identification, has not been released.

Other deputies in the area saw another man near Marconi and Eastern avenues and detained him. Detectives are trying to determine if that 22-year-old man was involved in the attempted break-in.

May 17, 2009
Cops look for teens who shot at people near elementary school today

From Hudson Sangree:

Sacramento police are searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting near an elementary school and a middle school in the Meadowview area.

There were no injuries, said Sgt. Norm Leong.

At about 11:45 a.m. today, police received a report of shots fired in the 2200 block of John Still Drive.

A 19-year-old man told police that as he walked down the block, a blue Buick drove past and at least one of its four occupants flashed gang signs, Leong said.

As the car turned around and drove by again, one passenger pointed a gun at the ground and fired off several rounds, Leong said. Police later found the shell casings.

The car sped away, and witnesses reported its occupants got out and climbed into a silver Suzuki.

Police were continuing their search for the vehicles and suspects this afternoon, Leong said.

Leong said the suspects were four African American males, aged 18 to 20.

May 16, 2009
CHP corrects ID's in fatal Interstate 5 collision

From Bee staff:

The California Highway Patrol said Sunday it incorrectly identified drivers of two cars that crashed Friday night on Interstate 5 near Twin Cities Road, killing both motorists.

According to the CHP, a red Toyota Camry was southbound on I-5 at 10:15 p.m. when it crossed a divider and struck a white Honda Accord that was going north on the freeway.

On Sunday, the CHP identified the driver of the Honda as Albert Hu, 38, of Stockton. The driver of the Toyota was Juan Carlos Reyes-Torres, 30, of Olivehurst, the CHP said.

Both were killed in the collision.

In its reports to area media Saturday, the CHP had mistakenly identified Hu as the driver of the car that ran into him.

May 16, 2009
Logic appears missing in Placer County shoplifting attempt

From Chelsea Phua:

Call it a "Huh?" crime.

An 18-year-old Foothills High student was arrested after trying to steal soft drinks from a sandwich shop on Sierra College Boulevard in Roseville, according to a Placer County Sheriff's department report.

The Sacramento teenager and two other men walked into a Quiznos restaurant around noon on April 27 and grabbed several SoBe drinks - worth a few dollars - and fled without paying.

The shop's manager gave chase, catching up with the 18-year-old when he tripped. The manager detained him until officers arrived.

Officers found $35.04 in cash and a debit card on the teen.

May 15, 2009
Placer County man convicted on four counts of child molestation

From Stan Oklobdzija:

A Placer County man on Friday was convicted of four felony counts related to the molestation of a 6-year-old girl in 2008, district attorney's officials said.

Donald Bruce Vechik, 59, will face 25 years to life during the sentencing phase of his trial, which starts July 17 in Placer County Superior Court.

Vechik had previously served a six-year prison term for a similar offense in Kern County, according to the Placer County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors said that Vechik befriended the girl's family in the Cisco Grove area, near Soda Springs, in 2008. Vechik and the girl's mother were neighbors at an area motel, and Vechik offered to watch the girl and take her to school, district attorney's officials said.

But after school officials checked up on Vechik and discovered he was a registered sex offender, Child Protective Services was called in, prosecutors said. Through interviews, they discovered that the girl had been molested, district attorney's officials said.

May 15, 2009
Sacramento sheriff's helicopter on display at fundraiser

From Kim Minugh:

The public is invited to check out the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's helicopter hangar on Saturday as part of a fundraiser for the "AirOpsCops" organization.

The nonprofit group was founded to raise money for preserving and maintaining the STAR VI memorial at Lake Natoma. STAR VI was the sheriff's helicopter that crashed in the hills next to Lake Natoma on July 13, 2005, killing deputies Kevin Blount and Joseph Kievernagel and seriously injuring Eric Henrikson. Authorities dedicated a bronze statue in the deputies' memory during the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.

During Saturday's event, which will be held between noon and 4 p.m., visitors can meet the Air Operations crew and tour the helicopter hangar. Barbecue also will be provided, and an auction held.

Tickets cost $20 for adults and $12 for children under the age of 10, and are available at the door. The Air Operations Bureau is located at 10056 Missile Way at Mather Airport.

For more information, visit

May 15, 2009
Flags at half-staff today for fallen law enforcement officers

From Kim Minugh:

Flags are flying half-staff across the country today in honor of more than 18,000 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in the country's history.

Today is National Peace Officers' Memorial Day - the highlight of National Police Week, which began Sunday. Last week, agencies in the Sacramento region and statewide honored their fallen officers leading up to this week's national activities, based in Washington, D.C.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy and Congress designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day. President Bill Clinton passed a crime bill in 1994 requiring that all flags be lowered on this day, according to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.

This year's activities - including a candlelight vigil held Thursday night and a wreath-laying ceremony held this afternoon - highlight 133 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty nationwide in 2008, as well as 254 others who died in previous years but hadn't been officially recognized.

Among those names added this year are 18 from California, including: Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Larry Canfield, killed in a traffic accident Nov. 12; retired Deputy Paul DeRouen, who died March 29, 2008, from injuries sustained on duty 22 years earlier; California Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Sanders, a Galt native killed in Los Angeles County on Dec. 15; Yolo County Sheriff's Deputy Jose Antonio Diaz, shot to death June 16; and Sacramento police Officer George C. Chapman, killed April 27, 1858.

That brings to 18,661 the total number of officers who have died in the line of duty in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and federal law enforcement and military police agencies.

Among the local officials in Washington for some of the ceremonies has been Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness. In an interview last week, McGinness said it is important for people in and out of the profession to pay tribute to the willingness of peace officers to give their life to protect their communities.

"That's a huge contribution that every law enforcement officer in the county makes, whether they're actually called upon to pay that individual sacrifice or not," he said. "By virtue of that oath ... and their duty, they express the willingness to make that sacrifice.

"We as a society have to value that. We have to."

Click here for a recent related story.

May 15, 2009
Folsom PD releases photos of pickpocket suspects

From Bill Lindelof:

Folsom Police have released photographs of two people suspected of pick pocketing an elderly woman at a supermarket (see below).

Police said that 83-year-old shopper was at Raley's supermarket on East Bidwell Street when a woman not known to her struck up a conversation. During a moment of distraction, a man reached inside the shopper's purse and swiped her wallet.

Within an hour that day, March 29, the suspects tried to use the victim's credit card at a Folsom store and attempted to use it at others.

The female suspect is described as Hispanic, 20-25 years old, medium height and medium build. She has long brown hair and wore a black shirt with a white logo. Another woman accompanied the suspect.

The male suspect is described as Hispanic, about 30 years old, dark brown or black hair, short and about 230 pounds. He was seen wearing a long sleeve shirt and blue jeans.

If you have information on the suspects, call the Folsom Police Department at (916) 355-7230.

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May 15, 2009
Cops: Placer County jail visitor ends up as inmate

From Chelsea Phua:

A Roseville man on a visit to the Placer County Jail ended up being arrested on charges of public intoxication and possession of a deadly weapon within a county jail, according to a Placer County Sheriff's department report released this week.

Kevin Thomas Dougherty, 47, was leaving the minimum-security visitation center in Auburn on May 9 at about 3:25 p.m. when a deputy approached him, the report states.

Dougherty had slurred speech, bloodshot watery eyes and an unsteady gait, the deputy reported.

When the deputy searched Dougherty, he said he found a folding knife in his left rear pants pocket. The deputy described the knife as a black-hinged blade that was almost 8 inches long with the blade extended.

A large sign near the entrance of the visitation center advises visitors that it is a crime to bring a deadly weapon into the facility.

May 15, 2009
Placer County sheriff asks for help in finding woman

2nd pic of Helm.jpgBee Staff

The Placer County Sheriff's Department is asking the public's help in finding a woman who has been missing since Jan. 16, 2007.

Mary Alice Helm (photo), 45, of Alta is missing from the Kearsage Mill Court area near the Drum Forebay exit of Interstate 80, according to a news release.

She is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. She brown hair and brown eyes.

Helm is dependent on medications for a health condition, but did not leave her residence with any of her medication, the release states.

She also did not take her purse, a vehicle or any additional clothing, the release states. She may have been wearing a brown suede jacket with a green collar and white tennis shoes with pink trim on the soles and tongue.

Shortly after Helm was reported missing, search and rescue teams the Sheriff's Department conducted an exhaustive search for Helms, the release states. The department also publicized her disappearance at that time.

Any with information on Helm is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (530) 889-7800.

May 15, 2009
Dixon police seeking at-risk woman

100_3687.JPGFrom Bill Lindelof:

Dixon police are asking the public's help in finding a woman missing since Thursday.

Her family said that Susan Morse (photo), 47, of Dixon was last seen driving toward Interstate 80 from Dixon in a blue 1998 Toyota Sienna minivan. She has been severely depressed the past several weeks, her family said.

Her family said she left a note saying she was headed to the Davis Food Co-op. On Friday the family confirmed that there was a withdrawal of $300 from her ATM account in Davis on Thursday.

Morse is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing about 125 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Dixon police Sgt. John Rouleau said the public should call the department at (707) 678-7080 if they see Morse.

May 15, 2009
Authorities seek armed suspect in 7-Eleven robbery

From Bill Lindelof:

Sheriff's deputies are investigating the armed holdup of a convenience market this morning in North Highlands.

A man armed with a gun held up the 7-Eleven at Watt and Myrtle avenues about 5 a.m., a sheriff's dispatcher said.

The suspect was wearing a bandana over his face and a black hooded sweatshirt. No shots were fired.

May 15, 2009
Train kills pedestrian in south Sacramento County

From Bill Lindelof:

A train struck and killed a woman in rural southern Sacramento County this morning.

Televised reports say the train's engineer blew a warning whistle, and the woman, who had been lying on the tracks, arose before being struck.

Sheriff's deputies are investigating the fatality that happened on the Union Pacific railroad tracks near Franklin Boulevard and Dierssen Road. They were called to the scene at abut 3:45 a.m., a sheriff's department dispatcher said.

Five deputies and an ambulance were immediately dispatched to the scene.

May 14, 2009
Burglar targeting downtown Sacramento-area businesses sought


From Stan Oklobdzija:

The Sacramento Police Department is seeking a burglar who has been targeting businesses in the downtown Sacramento area over the last week, police said.

The burglar (top photos) has struck eight businesses late at night and has taken cash and property from the businesses, police said.

According to police, the burglaries have taken place (locations plotted on map below):

May 7 -- 2200 block of 10th Street; May 10 -- 1100 block of L Street, 1800 block of J Street, 2000 block of 16th Street, 1300 block of Broadway; May 13 -- 2600 block of Broadway; May 14 -- 1400 block of Broadway, 1700 block of Eighth Street.

The suspect is described as a black man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 170 to 190 pounds, police said. He has short dark hair and a mustache, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sacramento Police Department at (916) 446-HELP or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information.

May 14, 2009
Sacramento sheriff's stakeout leads to fencing-theft arrests

altmanclip_image002.jpgFrom Sarah Frier:

Three people were arrested on suspicion of grand theft Wednesday after stealing $2,000 worth of chain-link fencing from a business in North Highlands, a Sheriff's Department news release states.

After Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies responded to the theft at the 5300 block of Jackson Street, they saw that seven of the rolls weren't taken, but were hidden in tall grass near a drainage canal, covered with old clothing, the news release states.

Expecting that the thieves would be back for the rest of the rolls, the deputies staged a stakeout, the release states.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m., North Division detectives watched as Douglas Allman (left), 39, Donna Dewey Mullins (bottom left), 44, and Debra Deti (bottom right), 50, loaded the remaining rolls into their truck and drove away, the release states.

Allman was also charged on suspicion of violating his parole, the release states.



May 14, 2009
Cops: Robbery victim finds street justice painful failure

Bee Staff

A 38-year-old street robbery victim found taking the law into his own hands futile and painful, according to a crime report released this week.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department deputies reported this chain of events:

The victim was confronted by a man on a street who asked him "what gang he belonged to."

The victim said he didn't belong to a gang and "did not want any trouble."

The man responded by head-butting the victim, ripping the gold chain from his neck and demanding his wallet and cash.

Instead of calling the Sheriff's Department, the victim returned to the area with his two brothers to retrieve his property. Instead, they found themselves attacked by the suspect and at least five other people.

The suspect jumped into the driver's seat of the victim's vehicle and tried to drive away. The victim stopped the suspect and more fighting ensured.

Deputies were finally called. They stopped a vehicle in the 10300 block of Folsom Boulevard and arrested two suspects.

Arrested on suspicion of various assault and robbery charges were Armondo Abilez, 19, and Drake Grimm, 22, the report states.

No other details were available.

May 14, 2009
2 arrested over soliciting funds for Sacramento hospital

Bee Staff:

Sacramento Sheriff's deputies shut down what they said was a bogus operation to collect funds for a Shriners hospital.

Two suspects were arrested May 6 after deputies said they found them soliciting funds for the hospital even though they had no connection to the Shriners facility. The pair had set up a table with a jug for cash contributions in front of a business in the 4400 block of Florin Road, according to a crime report released this week.

Deputies were called to the scene by someone who became suspicious after they were asked for a donation, the report states.

Traci Rivera, 47, and Daryl Armstrong, 51, were booked into jail on suspicion of conspiracy to solicit money under false pretenses and probation violations, the crime report states.

May 14, 2009
El Dorado officials seek owner of dog that bit man

From Cathy Locke:

El Dorado County Animal Services officers are searching for the owner of a dog that bit a man Wednesday morning.

The man was on his property near the end of Wildwood Lane, off Green Valley Road west of Placerville, about 10:30 a.m. when he was bitten, a county news release states.

The dog was described as a small German shepherd mix, with black and brown coloring and wearing a blue nylon collar with tags. The dog ran away before the man could see any information on the tags.

Officials said the man suffered minor injuries. Animal Services officers want to speak to the dog's owner to verify that the animal is current on its rabies vaccination so the man does not have to go through post-exposure rabies treatments.

Anyone with information is asked to call Animal Services at (530) 621-5795.

May 14, 2009
Roseville cops nab alleged stun-gun wielding thief, accomplice

From Bill Lindelof:

Roseville police have arrested a woman suspected of using a stun gun and her alleged getaway driver in a robbery attempt at a shopping center parking lot Saturday.

Jill Elizabeth Jones and Theodore James White, both 23, of Sacramento were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery.

White is suspected of driving a getaway car after Jones allegedly tried to rob a woman at the Creekside Town Center on Galleria Boulevard.

Police said Jones shot the stun gun at a woman Saturday afternoon, but the victim fought back, prying the stun gun away from Jones and holding onto her purse.

Police said Jones fled and jumped into a car driven by White.

Media coverage of the attempted robbery led to an anonymous tip to the Roseville Crime Stoppers program.

May 14, 2009
Woman thrown from car into tree was not wearing seat belt

From Bill Lindelof:

A woman who was tossed over a freeway sound barrier and into a tree during a high-speed rollover accident was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, the California Highway Patrol said today.

The crash occurred Wednesday on Highway 99 near Mack Road south of Sacramento.

The woman, a passenger in the car, was identified as Sarah Judith Williams, 18, of Sacramento. Williams, reported to be in fair condition today, was taken to UC Davis Medical Center with possible fracture to her right ankle, abrasions to her face and a deep laceration on her back, a CHP spokesman said.

"The tree limbs cut her up," said Officer Michael Bradley, a CHP spokesman.

The driver of the car, Raymond Walker Jr., suffered minor abrasions to both hands and his face, possibly caused by activation of the vehicle's air bag.

"The preliminary investigation is that he made an unsafe turning movement," said Bradley, a maneuver that apparently led to the rollover.

Bradley said the CHP continues to investigate witness statements. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

The accident threw Williams over a 12-foot sound wall and into a nearby back yard.

When Sacramento firefighters arrived they found the badly damaged car but no victims in or near it, fire officials said.

Meanwhile, firefighters received another medical aid call from a home in the nearby 7300 block of Berna Way, just beyond the sound wall. There they found a woman in a tree and a man nearby, fire officials said.

Williams had been thrown from the car and into the tree, which cushioned her fall and saved her life, a fire spokesman said.

The man left the accident scene and crawled over to the woman, fire officials said.

May 14, 2009
CHP cadets set to graduate from West Sac academy on Friday

From Bill Lindelof:

One played professional basketball in Greece. Three are women. Thirty-three are military veterans.

What the 173 men and women who will gather Friday morning in West Sacramento have in common is that they are the latest crop of California Highway Patrol graduates, the ones who remained from an original class of 240 cadets that entered the academy Nov. 10, 2008.

The 90-minute graduation ceremony takes place at the CHP Academy, 3500 Reed Ave.

Family members will pin badges on the graduates, who come from throughout the state and are assigned to work at eight divisions, sometime far from their home towns.

From the Sacramento region, there are five cadets from Sacramento, four from Roseville, two from Orangevale and one from each of the communities of Weimar, Shingle Springs, Newcastle, Grass Valley, Lincoln, Rocklin, Lodi, Jackson, Dixon, Elk Grove, Folsom and Yuba City.

May 14, 2009
Police, FBI seek armed robber who hit Woodland bank


From Bill Lindelof:

Woodland police and the FBI are looking for a robber who held up a Woodland bank with a semi-automtic handgun Wednesday.

The masked man (above) entered the Chase Manhattan Bank, 1224 East Gibson Road, about 10:30 a.m.. Wielding his weapon, he ordered the eight customers and bank employees to the floor and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money, Woodland police said.

After entering his sport utility vehicle, the suspect removed his mask before driving away. He was described as being about 30 years old, having light-colored skin, hair pulled or brushed back at the sides and having a thin beard.

Woodland detectives and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are reviewing video that captured the suspect's vehicle traveling through the bank parking lot.

May 13, 2009
Demonstrators protest Folsom Police's fatal shooting of 23-year-old man

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Family and friends of a Folsom man killed by police last month staged a large rally Wednesday afternoon outside the Folsom Police Department, demanding accountability for the shooting of 23-year-old Joseph Han.

About 60 demonstrators lined Natoma Street in front of the police department and City Hall questioning the decision of two Folsom Police Department officers to shoot Han after he'd barricaded himself in his bedroom Easter Sunday.

"They're not owning up to what they did," said Kevin Garvin, a friend of Han's since middle school and one of the organizers of the protest. "I think there needs to be more transparency."

Han was killed after his family called police to help deal with Han the morning of April 12. Police said the family told them Han was acting strangely and had locked himself in his bedroom. After finding Han in his bedroom armed with a hunting knife, police tried to use a Taser to subdue him, but with no effect, according to a Folsom Police Department account of the incident.

Han was shot twice and later died in the hospital, police said.

Several people that knew Han said his behavior in the days before the shooting were normal. They said Han wasn't eating because he was fasting as part of religious studies.

"He was reading the Bible a lot," said his cousin Tim Cho. "He was a Christian and he was trying to focus on the scripture."

Aaron Correa, another of Han's longtime friends, said he spoke to Han the night before he was killed and that everything seemed normal.

"He seemed happy," Correa said.

Correa said Han was excited about a new long-board company he was starting and trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life since graduating from UC Irvine.

"I was excited for him," Correa said.

Correa said he was at the demonstration to hold the police answerable for their actions.

"There was a million way this could have been handled with a better outcome," he said.

In a news release, the Folsom Police Department responded to the demonstration saying that its department, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office and the Sacramento County Coroner's Office are still investigating the incident.

"Once complete, the culmination of the four investigations will provide insight into the unusual circumstances that led up to this event," said Sgt. Rick Hillman, the department's spokesman, in the release. "Our hearts go out to the Han family ... I am hopeful we'll come to understand what created the unexplainable behavior that the Han family has reported as not being consistent with the son they knew."

May 13, 2009
Elk Grove PD releases photos of robbery suspects

Bee Staff

The Elk Grove Police Department on Wednesday released surveillance photos taken during the armed robbery Tuesday of the Walgreens at 7299 Laguna Blvd.

The suspects, at least one of whom was armed with a handgun, entered Walgreens and ordered customers and employees into the back area of the store, according to a Police Department news release.

The release laid out this chain of events:

The customers and employees were then told to lay face down on the floor. Some of the customers and employees were robbed of their personal property.

The suspects were also able to gain access to the store safe and the pharmacy area. The suspects removed an undisclosed amount of currency from the safe along with pharmaceutical drugs before leaving the business on foot.

Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the robbery and give the following descriptions:

The first suspect is 5 feet 6 inches tall, who wore a black hooded sweatshirt with a white logo on the left front area with "CSI" written on the back, black cloth covering the lower portion of face, faded black jeans and white tennis shoes. He also wore white/black gloves and was armed with a handgun.

The second suspect is 6 feet 1 inch tall, who wore a blue baseball cap with red trim, blue bandana covering the lower portion of face, black jacket with white shirt underneath, black backpack, wearing white/black gloves, faded blue jeans and black/white shoes.

The third suspect is 5 feet 10 inches tall, who wore a black hooded sweatshirt with a white logo across the chest, black cloth covering the lower portion of face, white/black gloves, faded black jeans and black/white shoes.

The fourth suspect is 5 feet 8 inches tall, stocky build, who wore a black short sleeve shirt, black cloth covering the top of his head and lower portion of face, green backpack, faded knee length blue jean shorts, white socks and black shoes. He also wore white/black gloves and was armed with a hammer.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call the Elk Grove Police Department Communication Center at (916) 714-5115 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357). Callers to Crime Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00.

Tips can also be sent via SMS text message by entering CRIMES (274637) on a cell phone, followed by Tip732 and the message.

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May 13, 2009
Pilot of downed copter in Butte County identified

From Bill Lindelof:

A helicopter crashed into a hangar at the Richvale Airport in Butte County, injuring the pilot and sending him to Enloe Hospital in Chico.

A Calfire crew responded to the crash but found no fire.

A Calfire spokeswoman said Craig Compton, the owner of AVAG Inc., was piloting the crop-dusting helicopter when the crash occurred about 9 a.m. Compton was alert when airlifted to the hospital.

Details about the crash at the airport in the farming community south of Chico and west of Oroville were not available.

The large agricultural business at the airport has many helicopters and planes coming and going, the spokeswoman said.

No agricultural products were aboard the aircraft when it crashed, the Calfire spokeswoman said.

May 13, 2009
Classic car injures bystander at Roseville show

From Bill Lindelof:

A man sitting in a folding chair on the sidewalk at a classic car show was struck and critically injured by one of the vintage cars when it jumped the curb.

The 67-year-old Orangevale man was reported in critical condition today, Roseville police say.

The incident occurred about 3 p.m. Tuesday on Vernon Street near Taylor Street when a 65-year-old Citrus Heights man was backing his 1941 Chevrolet pickup into a parking space for the Downtown Tuesday Nights' classic car show.

When the pickup went over the curb, it hit the spectator, a friend of the driver, pinning him against a building wall. The injured man was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

There was no indication that alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Roseville police declined comment on whether the accident was driver error or vehicle malfunction. Cause is under investigation.

May 12, 2009
Suspect arrested in connection with killing during North Sacramento melee

From Stan Oklobdzija:

The Sacramento Police Department arrested a 49-year-old woman Tuesday in connection with the March killing of Fernando Munoz, 25, in North Sacramento, police said.

20090512-100.pdf - Adobe Reader.JPGSusan Woods (left) was arrested at her North Sacramento home on charges of manslaughter and negligent discharge of a firearm.

Munoz was killed about 2:25 a.m. March 21 after a large fight broke out at an apartment complex, police said.

During the fighting, Woods allegedly shot into the melee, police said. She was reportedly trying to help Munoz and others on his side in the fight, the group he was fighting with, but instead hit him in the upper body, according to police.

The arrest of Woods gives the Sacramento Police Department's Homicide Unit a perfect solve rate for 2009.

May 12, 2009
Ex-bookkeeper sentenced to 3 years, $367,000 in payback, taxes

From Sarah Frier:

The former bookkeeper of a small Sacramento company was sentenced Friday to three years in prison after she pleaded no contest to embezzlement, a District Attorney's office news release states.

Anne Asperger was ordered to pay $333,103.30 to her former employer in reimbursement and $33,926 to the State Franchise Tax Board for the taxes owed on the embezzled money, the news release states.

Starting in 2001, Asperger issued herself 68 checks by forging the company president's signature, and then manipulated the bookkeeping system to hide the loss, the news release states. Employees noticed the discrepancy in fall of 2006.

"This sentence should serve as a strong deterrent for those who consider the criminal act of embezzlement," Deputy District Attorney Lani Biafore said.

May 12, 2009
Colusa DA files 11 manslaughter counts in fatal casino-bus crash

From Chelesea Phua:

The Colusa County District Attorney filed 11 counts of vehicular manslaughter and two count of traffic infractions Tuesday against the driver involved in a bus crash that killed 11 people in October.

Authorities said driver Quintin Watts, 52, of Stockton, was falling asleep at the wheels moments before the bus veered off a narrow rural road near Williams on Oct. 5. The bus was carrying 41 passengers, most of the elderly Hmong residents from the Sacramento area, who were on their way to Colusa Casino Resort.

Among the dead was bus company owner Daniel Cobb, 68. More than 30 people were injured.

May 12, 2009
U.S. seeking 'Turtle Man' in wildlife smuggling scheme

From Sarah Frier

Officials have sentenced one conspirator in an international wildlife smuggling, but have been slower to catch up to the one called "Turtle Man," according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

An extensive investigation by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service found that Garrett Smith, 40, of Chico, and Turtle Man were part of a scheme to smuggle into the U.S. wild tortoises that are protected by an international treaty, a news release states.

Turtle Man, who might live in Singapore, would find tortoises in Asia then sell them to Smith, Assistant United States Attorney S. Robert Tice-Raskin said.

Smith would then sell and distribute the tortoises - a total of 30 Indian Star Tortoises and five Burmese Star Tortoises - without licenses or documentation, the news release states.

Money was wired from the United States to Turtle Man, the news release states.

Smith was sentenced to three years of probation, six months of home detention, 144 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine, the news release states.

Turtle Man remains at large.

May 12, 2009
Sacramento man pleads guilty to child porn, U.S. attorney says

From Kim Minugh:

A 36-year-old Sacramento man has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

John Joseph Mulligan will be sentenced on July 31, according to the news release. He faces up to 10 years of prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. He also will be required to register as a sex offender, the release states.

According to the news release, law enforcement officials went to Mulligan's mother's home, where he lived, and asked for permission to search computers at the home. Mulligan's mother consented, and Mulligan also gave permission for agents to search a bag of his found in the garage, the release states.

Inside the bag, agents found CDs containing 380 files of child pornography, more than 100 of which were video files, according to the release. Mulligan admitted to knowingly possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct, the release states.

Mulligan originally downloaded the files from the Internet onto his computer, and then burned the images onto the CD and loaded images of child pornography onto his iPod, according to the release.

May 12, 2009
Suspect wielding stun gun fails in Roseville robbery attempt

From Sarah Frier:

Someone shot a woman with a stun gun in a Roseville parking lot, attempted to take her purse and then escaped, according to police.

Roseville police officers recovered the stun gun at the scene but are still looking for the suspect, according to a news release.

The 27-year-old victim was walking on the north side of the Creekside Town Center lot on Galleria Boulevard at 4:34 p.m. Saturday, the release states. She suffered minor injuries after struggling to pry the stun gun away and keep her purse, but declined medical attention, the release states.

The victim described the suspect as a thin white woman in her late teens or 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall with straight, shoulder-length hair, the release states. She wore a black spaghetti-strap tank top and black pants, and escaped in a black Ford Focus four-door hatchback with tinted rear windows, the release states.

The vehicle was driven by a white man in his early 20s, with short, light brown hair, the release states.

Anyone with information about the crime can call the Roseville Police Department's Investigation Unit at (916) 774-5070 or Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Cash rewards are offered for tips leading to arrests.

May 12, 2009
Roseville PD plans Friday DUI checkpoint

From Sarah Frier:

Roseville police are planning a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint for Friday night, according to a Roseville Police Department news release.

The checkpoint at an undisclosed location is part of the department's efforts in response to a rise in alcohol and drug-related traffic incidents.

During the first three months of this year, officers investigated 42 DUI-related incidents - a 45 percent increase from the same period in 2008, the release states. Frequency of other types of traffic collisions has declined, the release states.

At their last checkpoint April 17, Roseville Police arrested five people that they suspected were driving under the influence.

May 12, 2009
Cops: Sales clerk surrenders in credit-card number thefts

102549clip_image002.jpgFrom Sarah Frier:

A 22-year-old sales clerk turned herself in to Sheriff's personnel after purchasing more than $15,000 with stolen credit card numbers, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release.

Cassandra Montrevel, photo left, was arrested on suspicion of seven felony counts of unlawful use of personal identifying information, one felony count of buying or receiving stolen property and two misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of a scanning device, the release states.

Montrevel, while working for a local boutique, used a handheld scanner to steal card numbers then used a device to re-encode the information onto cards in her name, according to the Sheriff's Identity Theft Task Force. She used those cards to buy merchandise and gift cards, the release states.

Montrevel is being held in lieu of $175,000 bail, the release states.

May 12, 2009
2 women accused of forcing woman into prostitution over debt

From Bill Lindelof:

Two women are suspected of beating of a woman with a golf club and a hammer over a debt before forcing her to prostitute herself on a Sacramento County street, according to Sacramento police investigators.

Sacramento police arrested Myesha Collins, 27, and Asia Kinslow, 18, on various charges, including assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment and pimping, according to a news release.

Also booked on kidnapping and pimping charges was Derek Sheppard, 26, who police said they suspect was enlisted to turn the victim out on the street for prostitution.

Police spokesman Konrad Von Schoech said that on Sunday at a residence in the Valley Hi area of South Sacramento (an earlier version erroneously said the Woodbine area) a 25-year-old woman argued over unpaid rent with her two female roommates.

The woman had a dating relationship with one of her roommates, Von Schoech said.

Police said the argument escalated with the 25-year-old being beaten with a golf club, hammer and fists. After the beating the woman at various time through the day, her attackers told her to get cleaned up and put on make-up, Von Schoech said.

"With the help of a third subject, a male, they drove her to a known prostitution area of the county (on) Watt Avenue near North Highlands," said Von Schoech. "They took her against her will, gave her instructions and put her out there to work."

That night, a man noticed that the victim was hurt. She told him that she had been beaten and been forced to prostitute herself.

The man drove her to the South Area and the Sacramento police were summoned. Police said they arrested the three suspects at 5 a.m. Monday.

The victim, who was treated at a hospital, suffered injury to her head and chest.

May 12, 2009
Citrus Heights man dies after Roseville motorcycle crash

Bee Staff

A Citrus Heights man has died of injuries received in a motorcycle crash in Roseville, according to the Roseville Police Department.

Allan Dahlquist, 64, of Citrus Heights died May 5 at Sutter Roseville Medical Center as a result of injuries suffered in the April 26 collision, the news release states.

The release gives this account of the accident:

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on April 26, Dahlquist was riding his 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle north on Riverside Avenue near the Interstate 80 interchange, and rear-ended a Toyota Highlander that was stopped at a red light.

Dahlquist was thrown from his motorcycle and suffered head injuries. He was transported by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Traffic investigators do not believe that alcohol, drugs or excessive speed were factors in the collision, the release states. Dahlquist was wearing a helmet.

The accident is under investigation, the release states.

May 12, 2009
Gunmen overwhelm Elk Grove Walgreens in morning robbery

From Bill Lindelof:

Four masked and armed men held up a drug store early this morning in Elk Grove, herding employees and customers into a back room before fleeing with money and drugs.

The robbery occurred at 1:20 a.m. at a Walgreens pharmacy at Laguna Boulevard and Bruceville Road when four men wearing hoods and masks entered the store and forced employees and customers into a room and made them lay on the floor.

After robbing the workers and customers, the suspects also took money from a store safe and stole prescription drugs. The four then fled, leaving Elk Grove police with few leads.

There are no vehicle or suspect descriptions beyond eference to their headware. Police are reviewing a store video tape, looking for connections to similar robberies in the region.

Elk Grove police spokesman Christopher Trim said the robbery victims were subjected to a frightening experience.

"This is not something we typically experience here in Elk Grove," Trim said. "Hopefully, we will be able get some forensics evidence from fingerprints."

May 12, 2009
Crime Alert: Sacramento Police seek robbery, assault suspect

JACKSON III, Thomas 05-04-09.jpgSacramento Police Department robbery detectives are seeking Thomas Jackson III on a felony $50,000 bail arrest warrant for suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon with the likelihood of great bodily harm, and battery, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

Jackson (left photo) is described as age 21, 6 feet tall, weighing 181 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address was in the 1700 block of Nogales Street in the Del Paso Heights area of Sacramento, authorities report.

Anyone with information about Jackson 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.

May 11, 2009
Sheriff's department patrol car, pickup truck collide in south Sacramento

From Stan Oklobdzija:

A Sacramento County Sheriff's Department patrol car was involved in an accident in south Sacramento when a pickup truck swerved into its path while making a U-turn, California Highway Patrol officials said.

The car, carrying two deputies, was northbound on Stockton Boulevard in the far left lane about 9 p.m., said Officer Michael Bradley of the CHP. As it was passing Massie Circle, near Gerber Road, a pickup truck exiting a nearby business tried to make a U-turn and cut the deputies off, Bradley said.

The deputies T-boned the pickup, totaling it and leaving the patrol car with "moderate to major damage," Bradley said.

Both deputies and the pickup's driver appeared to have been unhurt, he said.

Drugs or alcohol don't appear to be involved in the accident, Bradley said. The CHP is investigating the incident.

May 10, 2009
Sacramento police arrest man in trash can

From Gina Kim:

Police arrested the 19-year-old driver of a stolen SUV after discovering him in a trash can in the South Natomas neighborhood Saturday.

Police saw the stolen 2003 silver Lincoln Navigator at 5:46 p.m. Saturday in the 3600 block of Northgate Boulevard, said Sacramento police Sgt. Norm Leong. When officers pulled behind the SUV, the driver took off, going west on San Juan Road.

The driver pulled into an apartment complex in the 800 block of San Juan Road, and while the Navigator was still rolling, he and two passengers jumped out and ran away, Leong said. The SUV crashed into a car that was pulling out of the complex, and the three people in that car were taken to area hospitals with minor injuries.

Police found the alleged driver, Jerry Richardson of Sacramento, in a residential trash can on nearby Rancho Roble Way, Leong said.

May 10, 2009
Drive-by shooting jars Galt residents

From Gina Kim

Galt police are looking for the drive-by shooters as well as the intended victim in a shooting along the 200 block of Second Street on Saturday.

A witness called police about 1 p.m. Saturday to report that two men in a gold late-model sedan had fired about four times on a person walking along the street, according to a news release. A juvenile bystander received minor injuries to his arm and chin caused by shooting debris, the news release said.

Anyone with information should call the investigations department, (209) 366-7000; or the anonymous tip line, (888) 393-TIPS.

May 9, 2009
Guilty plea from El Dorado Hills man in child sex traffic case

From Cathy Locke:

An El Dorado Hills man has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of children, following an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance form the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.

Acting United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced Friday that Rishi Sanwal, 24, pleaded guilty before Senior United States District Judge Edward J. Garcia.

From March 18 until March 25, 2008, Sanwal used force, fraud and coercion to cause a 17-year-old girl to engage in prostitution, according to Kyle Reardon, the assistant U.S. attorney who is prosecuting the case.

Sanwal gave the victim the name "Amy" and used the name when he posted ads on the Craigslist "erotic services" section, according to a Department of Justice news release. He took the teenager from her El Dorado County home to the Bay Area before returning to Rocklin and posting the Craigslist advertisement for her from there. Sanwal and the victim then returned to the Bay Area, where he posted additional listings advertising the girl for sex, the news release states.

Sanwal is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Garcia at 10 a.m. Aug. 21.

The maximum statutory penalty is not less than 10 years in prison and up to life, a $250,000 fine and a life term of supervised release. As a result of his plea, Sanwal will be required to register as a sex offender. The sentence, however, will be determined by the court after considering Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, the news release states.

May 9, 2009
Search continues as Sac police ID suspect in assault on cop

From Cathy Locke:

The Sacramento Police Department is looking for 21-year-old Guy Azama in connection with Friday's carjacking of a police car and assault on a police officer.

At 3:58 a.m. Friday, an officer responded to the Chevron gas station at 7901 College Town Drive after a man and woman were reported arguing near a gray Chevrolet Malibu.

20090509-99.pdf - Adobe Reader.jpgThe officer spoke with a man, later identified as Azama (left), near the gas pumps then searched him, feeling a handgun in the suspect's pocket.

During the search, police say, Azama turned on the officer and assaulted him. During the struggle, Azama broke free, jumped in the officer's car and drove down La Riviera Drive toward Howe Avenue.

As additional officers arrived, Azama abandoned the patrol car near the La Riviera on-ramp to northbound Howe Avenue and doubled back to the waiting Chevrolet Malibu.

Police said Azama and his girlfriend fled west on College Town Drive.

The Malibu has since been located, and officers found a loaded handgun lying on the street several hundred feet from the vehicle, in the direction Azama fled, according to a police department news release issued this morning.

Police said Azama was identified with the help of the community, and they seek the community's assistance in locating him.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

May 8, 2009
Sheriff: Elk Grove school official arrested in student funds theft

From Diana Lambert:

An Elk Grove Unified School district employee was arrested Thursday on suspicion of embezzlement, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said Friday.

Carin Lee Fischlin, 48, allegedly stole $32,000 from money raised by students at Elk Grove High School and Toby Johnson Middle School for field trips, dances and other activities.

"As a result of school district internal controls and audits they noticed some accounting discrepancies," said Sgt. Tim Curran, spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

The district placed Fischlin on administrative leave on April 15, according to district officials.

The Sheriff's Department investigated and arrested Fischlin Thursday, Curran said. She was released on bail the same day. Her bail was set at $20,000.

Fischlin is scheduled for a hearing in Sacramento Superior Court on May 14.

The district has insurance that covers "these types of situation," said Elizabeth Graswich, district spokeswoman. "This incident will not affect students or any programs they have planned."

The Sheriff's Department supplies the school resource officers at the school.

May 8, 2009
Killer of man who helped many gets 27-to-life in prison

A man convicted in the first-degree murder of his wheelchair-bound roommate who gave the defendant a place to live in his Citrus Heights duplex was sentenced today to 27 years to life in prison.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Russell L. Hom imposed the term on Carl Wade Cossairt, 48, whom jurors found guilty last month in the December 2007 strangulation and bludgeon slaying of 61-year-old Chet Corser Jr.

Corser's relatives said in an interview outside court that Cossairt was only the latest of the "dozens" of down-and-out people the victim had brought into his home over the past 20 years to help get back on their feet.

"His friends would say they knew somebody who needed a helping hand, and (Corser would) help them out with clothes, feed them, give them a place to live," said John Corser, 38, one of the victim's sons. "The majority would move on, and now they have families and jobs -- they live stable lives."

Relatives said Corser worked in the air conditioning and heating business until he injured his back several years ago. They said he had been confined to the wheelchair for about three years before he died.

They said Corser invited Cossairt into his Terra Way duplex about two years before the killing. Corser had been trying to get Cossairt out of the residence in the months leading up to the killing, relatives said. They said they believed that Cossairt had been stealing from Corser.

In sentencing Cossairt, Hom told the defendant, "You repaid Mr. Corser's generosity with brutality."

The judge said the way Cossairt murdered his victim "reached a point where the violence appeared at least to this court to be gratuitous."

Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz said Corser suffered at least 10 separate blows to the head before he was choked to death.

Sacramento sheriff's deputies found Corser's body in the duplex on Dec. 7, 2007, the defendant's probation report revealed. They reported that the body appeared to be partially decomposed. The report stated a neighbor had previously heard Cossairt threaten to kill Corser if he ever said anything "again" to an unidentified woman.

Deputies found in Cossairt's duplex bedroom a letter dated Dec. 3, 2007, in which he wrote to his girlfriend that he "took care of the problem." Deputies also found an ATM receipt slip from Corser's bank account dated Dec. 4, 2007.

The report said that Cossairt, a 1979 Foothill High School graduate, identified himself as an apartment maintenance worker and a painter. It said he was in the Army from 1978 until 1984 and then joined the Marines for three years beginning in 1988, the report stated.

May 8, 2009
Burglary-spree suspects caught by Folsom police

From Bill Lindelof:

A man and a teen have been linked to burglaries in three counties, Folsom police say.

Shawn Noland, 19, of Orangevale and a 16-year-old were arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and stolen vehicle charges.

Police said burglars have hit several Folsom neighborhoods, breaking in while homeowners slept, stealing items and taking cars.

Authorities got a break Wednesday night when an officer completing reports while parked on Briggs Ranch Drive noticed a car driving recklessly in a nearby church parking lot. The officer tried to stop the car. but the suspects drove away, eventually stopping and trying to flee on foot before police caught them.

Police say they have connected the suspects to burglaries in Sacramento, El Dorado and Placer counties.

May 8, 2009
Suspect who struggled with Sacramento cop, took his car, remains on the loose

From Bill Lindelof:

A man who scuffled with a Sacramento police officer then stole his patrol car before abaanding the vehicle and escaping on foot early this morning remains on the loose, authorities say.

The incident began at 4 a.m. when police received a report about a fight between a man and woman at a gas station at La Riviera Drive and Howe Avenue, police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said.

When a police officer arrived, he saw a man in his 20s outside his car and a woman inside the vehicle. The officer approached the man and began to search him to determine if he was armed.

During that search, the officer thought he felt a gun in the man's pocket, and the suspect confirmed that he was armed.

The suspect then began to struggle with the officer, eventually pulling away and jumping into the patrol car. The officer was unhurt.

The suspect drove away from the gas station, ditching the cruiser a few blocks away. By then, the officer got into an arriving back-up police unit and tracked the stolen vehicle, which is equipped with a GPS device.

The suspect returned on foot to the gas station where a tow truck driver who had observed most of the incident tried to grab him. The suspect eluded the truck driver and entered his own car, Leong said, driving away with the woman he previously fought with.

Police said they found a handgun about a block from the gas station.

Police say the suspect is in a 1990s or early 2000s gray Chevrolet Malibu.

Leong said the suspect is considered to be armed and dangerous.

May 7, 2009
Intruder who fired shots at Davis resident is sought

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Davis Police are looking for a man who fired two shots at a resident after breaking into his apartment early Thursday morning, officials said.

About 2:30 a.m., a man awoke to the noises in the front of his apartment at 1660 Drew Circle, police officials said.

When he went to investigate, he found an intruder climbing through the window. When confronted by the resident, the burglar fired twice at the man, missing both times, police said.

The resident ran upstairs while the burglar fled the area on foot.

The intruder is described as about 5 feet 8 inches tall, police said. He was last seen wearing a bandanna over his face and dark clothing over his head, and gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Davis Police Det. Mike Munoz at (530) 747-5436.

May 7, 2009
CHP salutes officers who in fell in line of duty

From Kim Minugh:

The silence was deafening this morning as the pregnant widow of California Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Sanders placed a single red rose on the memorial now bearing his name.

Tondria Sanders is expected to deliver the couple's fourth child, Elizabeth, in June - six months after Joseph Sanders was struck and killed while laying down flares on a Los Angeles County highway.

The 29-year-old Galt High graduate was honored this morning at an annual ceremony at the CHP Academy in West Sacramento. His name has been inscribed on a memorial fountain in the center of the facility, a monument covered in brass plaques polished every Wednesday morning by CHP cadets.

On Dec. 15, Sanders joined the ranks for 214 CHP officers killed in the line of duty since the force's inception in 1929. They, too, were honored at this morning's ceremony, as each name was read aloud.

"We pause to reflect on their bravery and their valor and their sacrifice," said Dale Bonner, secretary of the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which oversees the CHP.

Bonner said the day's events aimed to honor not just the CHP's fallen officers, but those that continue to risk their lives for the community's benefit.

"We appreciate your service and your bravery," he said.

CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow thanked the families of the fallen officers, and said his heart reaches out to them.

"While we can't take away their pain, we can officer the promise that the CHP will never forget its heroes," he said.

The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute, a helicopter and fixed-wing plane flyover, bagpipes and a heart-wrenching rendition of "Amazing Grace."

May 7, 2009
Sacramento PD releases photos of holdup suspects

From Bill Lindelof:

The Sacramento Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying three suspects who held up a convenience market.

The robbery of the Circle K market at 8321 Folsom Blvd occurred April 22 at 8:46 p.m. when three suspects with bandanas over their faces held up the clerk at gunpoint. (See photos below.)

The three men fled in a four-door sedan.

Only one of the men was armed. The armed man was described as white, 18 to 25 years old, wearing a black jacket and blue jeans.

Another suspect was white and wore a black jacket.

The third suspect was African American and wore a black jacket and blue jeans.

robbery 1.JPG

Robbery 2.JPG

May 7, 2009
Sacramento man convicted of slaying girlfriend

From Andy Furillo:

A Sacramento jury today convicted an unemployed Antelope tech worker of second-degree murder for the shooting death of his live-in girlfriend two years ago.

Matthew James Degroff, 39, faces a term of more than 35 years to life for the murder of Renee Denise Rose and for findings that he personally discharged a .45-caliber handgun in the death of the 39-year-old woman.

Degroff is scheduled to be sentenced June 8 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge David I. Brown.

The defendant, a former Marine with years of Tai Kwon Do and other forms of martial arts training, claimed self-defense in the Jan. 11, 2007, shooting death of Rose.

It took the jury barely four hours of deliberations before informing the court Wednesday afternoon that it had reached the verdict that was announced this morning.

May 7, 2009
Folsom cop faces drunk driving, battery charges

From Bill Lindelof:

A Folsom police officer has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and battery.

Folsom police said they were called early Sunday to a restaurant on the 25000 block of Blue Ravine Road by a patron reporting that an an off-duty officer was drunk and had been involved in a fight with the caller.

Officer Evan Fardanesh, a nine-year veteran of the Folsom Police Department, was arrested. His blood alcohol later was found to be .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit.

The case against Fardanesh, 34, was submitted to the Sacramento County District Attorney's office. He is on paid administrative leave.

May 7, 2009
Deputies bust man in beating, catalytic-converters theft

Bee Staff

Deputies arrested a man after spotting 10 stolen catalytic converters in his vehicle while checking a domestic violence report, according to a Sacramento Sheriff's Department summary released this week.

The deputies were called to the 6500 block of Wire Drive in south Sacramento County about 3 p.m. April 20 for a reported domestic violence incidence, the report states.

The deputies found a woman with visible injuries but who declined medical aid.

But the deputies saw in "plain view" the catalytic converters and tools that could be used to removed the catalytic converter from a vehicle, the report states.

Catalytic converters are part of the vehicle exhaust system located underneath the vehicle. They are being stolen because they contain small amounts of precious metal and can be sold to recycling centers.

Chong Moua, 19, was arrested on suspicion of battery, receiving stolen property and possessing burglary tools, records indicate.

May 7, 2009
Cops: Firefighter punched while trying to help grandmother

Bee Staff

A 27-year-old man earned a quick trip to jail after he punched a firefighter captain trying to help the suspect's grandmother who was having medical problems, according to a Sacramento Sheriff's Department crime summary released this week.

Andre McCall, 27, was booked into jail on suspicion of battery on a firefighter and interfering with a firefighter performing his duty, the summary states.

The incident occurred in the 8300 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard at about 1:05 p.m. on April 27, the report states.

The punch caused "great bodily injury" to the firefighter. The grandmother was transported to a medical facility but the report gave no details on her condition.

Neither the firefighter nor his agency was identified. However, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District has responsibility for this area.

May 6, 2009
Citrus Heights man arrested in home after chase

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Citrus Heights police arrested a man who led officers on a foot-chase through the city Wednesday afternoon, the Police Department said.

An officer attempted to stop Zachariah Austin Lee, 24, of Citrus Heights as he drove near the area of Rollingwood Boulevard and Antelope Road at about 4:30 p.m., a department release said.

After the officer turned on his lights and sirens, Lee reportedly stopped the truck he was driving in the middle of the street and ran away.

Police said they later discovered the truck had been reported stolen.

After setting up a perimeter, police found Lee inside a house, the release said.

He was booked into Sacramento County jail on charges of auto theft, obstruction of justice and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Citrus Heights police.

May 6, 2009
Three names added to police/sheriff's memorial during moving ceremony

salute5.JPGFrom Kim Minugh:

The ceremony happens every year, but the mournful wail of the bagpipes sinks hearts every time.

So began this year's remembrance ceremony at the Sacramento Police/Sheriff's Memorial at Woodlake Park, where officers gather annually to honor those who have died in the line of duty.

On Wednesday, three names were added to the memorial: Sacramento police Officer George C. Chapman, whose 1858 date is on record as the department's first line-of-duty death; sheriff's Deputy Larry Canfield, who died in a November motorcycle accident while enforcing traffic in Rancho Cordova; and retired Deputy Paul DeRouen, who died March 29, 2008, as the result of injuries he sustained 22 years earlier while struggling with a suspect.

They join the ranks of 14 police officers, 16 deputies and one District Attorney's investigator who retired sheriff's Deputy Joe Dean described as "heroes of the community."

Several hundred uniformed officers, local dignitaries and family and friends of the inductees gathered in the warm May sun to pay tribute to the fallen officers. Local community members stopped on their way to and from the nearby light-rail station to watch as bagpipes and drums pierced the air.

Officials thanked family members for their sacrifices and assured that their losses will never be forgotten.

"Your loved ones will always be in our thoughts and our prayers and our memories as we take to the streets every day," said Police Chief Rick Braziel.

Sheriff John McGinness said the annual remembrance ceremony is necessary to express the value society places in law enforcement.

"It's absolutely a time to pause and be grateful for what we had by way of a gift in these individuals," he said.

Chapman, the first inducted in the memorial Wednesday, was fatally shot while responding to a burglary at a downtown clothing store on April 27, 1858. At the time, the 31-year-old Chapman was a "special police officer" - likely akin to today's reserve officer - but it was the city's Fire Department, for which Chapman served as a volunteer firefighter, that took responsibility for honoring him in death.

His headstone can be found at the Old City Cemetery's firemen's plot. On Wednesday, however, a pillar with his name was unveiled at the Police/Sheriff's Memorial.

With no living relatives there for the honors, Officer Paul Brown stood watch. It was Brown who researched Chapman's death and brought it to the attention of local authorities.

Next, authorities inducted Canfield, who died Nov. 12 while trying to overtake a speeding motorist on Coloma Road. A second-generation sheriff's deputy, the 43-year-old Canfield had been with the department 13 years at the time of his death. He was assigned to the Rancho Cordova Police Department's motor unit, and his colleagues stood at attention, with their motorcycle helmets on, as their colleague was honored Wednesday.

His widow, Michelle, attended the ceremony with the couple's two young boys.

Lastly, authorities honored the March 29, 2008 death of Paul DeRouen, a former sheriff's deputy who remarkably survived a dramatic accident while on duty, only to die of complications from his injuries 22 years later.

DeRouen, 27 years old at the time, was wrestling with a suspect along a foggy roadway in Elk Grove when a passing truck struck them. His left leg and part of his hip were severed in the accident, and doctors said the injuries should have been fatal.

Until his death, DeRouen underwent more than 20 surgeries as a result of injuries suffered that day. Because doctors attributed his death to that 1986 accident, authorities consider it a line-of-duty death.

DeRouen's wife, Michele, parents and two children attended Wednesday's ceremony.

McGinness described the deaths of Canfield and DeRouen as "truly a tragic loss we have endured," McGinness said. But he described their example of commitment and duty as "truly a model for the rest of us to follow."

Braziel said the goal of local law enforcement agencies is to never add a name to the Police/Sheriff's Memorial, and lamented the three new additions.

"Let them be the last," he said.

May 6, 2009
Sacramento PD team rescues kidnapped man

From Kim Minugh:

Sacramento police have arrested two people for allegedly kidnapping a 31-year-old man and holding him for ransom, according to authorities.

Francisco Gutierrez-Cardenas, 33, is being held without bail in the Sacramento County Main Jail on assorted charges, including kidnapping, conspiracy and assault, according to booking records. Maria Lopez-Moreno, 27, is being held on $2.1 million bail for similar charges.

The arrests stem from the Sunday evening kidnapping of a 31-year-old man from his North Laguna Creek area home, said police spokesman Officer Konrad Von Schoech. Felony assault detectives found that the man had been taken by two suspects to a Bay Area location and were holding him until the man's wife agreed to give up the location of her brother and the title to his car, Von Schoech said.

Detectives said the suspects were after the wife's brother because of an ongoing dispute over drugs and money, Von Schoech said. They kidnapped the man when they couldn't locate the wife's brother.

After learning that the man likely had been taken to Sunnyvale, detectives and members of the Police Department's Career Criminal Apprehension Team went there and apprehended the suspects. The victim also was rescued, Von Schoech said.

Gutierrez-Cardenas and Lopez-Moreno were brought to Sacramento on Tuesday morning and booked into the jail. Gutierrez-Cardenas was arrested on suspicion of the following felony charges: two counts of kidnapping, one count of conspiracy, one count of burglary, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of committing a felony with a firearm, according to booking records.

Lopez-Moreno was arrested on suspicion of the following felony charges: two counts of kidnapping, one count of conspiracy, one count of burglary, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of committing a felony with a firearm. She also faces a misdemeanor count of preventing a witness from making a report, according to booking records.

Both suspects are scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

May 6, 2009
2 convicted in '06 slaying of Sacramento bicyclist

From Andy Furillo:

Emotions exploded on both sides of the aisle today when a Sacramento jury convicted two men of murder in the Aug. 8, 2006, shooting death of an 18-year-old bicyclist in Meadowview.

Michael Jamal Scott, 22, was convicted of first-degree murder and Ian Clark-Johnson, also 22, was convicted of second-degree murder in the slaying of Shanneel Singh on Tamoshanter Way and 68th Avenue.

Prosecutors said Singh and a friend were riding bikes in the Meadowview neighborhood when Scott shot them while hanging out of the window in a drive-by shooting in which Clark-Johnson was behind the wheel.

Scott is facing a term of life in prison with no chance of parole as a result of the conviction that included the special-circumstance allegation that it was committed in the course of the drive-by.

Clark-Johnson will be sentenced to at least 15 years to life. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White will sentence the two when they return to court for their scheduled June 5 date.

Singh's grief-stricken mother shouted "it still doesn't bring my son back" in the courtroom after the verdicts were read. She broke down in sobs in the hallway outside the courtroom and needed assistance to leave.

A relative of Scott's also shrieked in agony outside the courtroom.

Bailiffs escorted both groups out of the courthouse.

The shooting death of Singh was the second of three slayings that ravaged Meadowview in a three-day period three years ago.

On Aug. 7, 2006, Roberto Placencia, 17, was shot and killed at the corner of Tamoshanter and Montecito ways while walking home from the light rail station. No suspect has been arrested in that case, which carries a $50,000 reward. Police say that anybody with information should call Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP.

In the third slaying, Sylvia Guerrero was gunned down on Aug. 9 in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The defendant in that case, John Faavesi, 20, pleaded no contest last month to voluntary manslaughter and a separate assault with a deadly weapon charge. Faavesi faces a term of 36 years and eight months in prison when he is sentenced May 29 by Judge Maryanne G. Gilliard.

May 6, 2009
Citrus Heights officers step in when girl's bike stolen

From Kim Minugh:

To the Citrus Heights police officers, it was a fixed up bike. To the 7-year-old girl they gave it to, it was "Blue Angel."

The American Society for Industrial Security recently recognized six officers and a community service officer for their kindness to a 7-year-old girl whose bike was stolen, according to a news release.

The officers' efforts began after the little girl's distraught father flagged down officers on Aug. 29 to report his daughter's brand new bike as stolen, the release states. The little girl was upset, and worried her parents wouldn't be able to replace it.

So the officers did. They combed the Police Department's property room and picked out one gently used bicycle that was just the right size and on its way to being destroyed. One officer made minor repairs to the bike on his own time, and the whole team pitched in money for a bike lock, horn and two helmets - one for the little girl's sister, according to the news release.

About a week later, the officers returned to the girl's apartment to hand over the gift. The little girl was "extremely pleased" - so pleased she called it "Blue Angel" in honor of the officers, the release states.

Recognized at a recent awards ceremony in San Mateo were: Officers Emily Howlett, Salvatore Lombardo, Jennifer Kell, Michael Coltharp, Michael Dutch and Jason Fritz and Community Service Officer Brian Wegesser, according to the release.

Sgt. Janet Schaefer said the officers' act of kindness is just one example of how officers routinely interact with the public.

Other officers have reached out to the community by picking up litter, painting over graffiti, mowing lawns of abandoned houses and buying food for indigent families with their own money, Schaefer wrote in the release.

May 6, 2009
CHP: Fatal motorcycle accidents continue upward climb

Bee Staff

Preliminary numbers show another rise last year for fatal motorcycle accidents, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The umbers from 2008 indicate more than 500 motorcyclists were killed in collisions statewide, the CHP news release states. Rider fatalities are consistently on the rise with each passing year.

"The unfortunate thing is most of these collisions could be easily avoided simply by increasing awareness," said Caltrans Director Will Kempton. "With a little extra vigilance, I believe we can dramatically reduce the number of lives lost in motorcycle crashes."

In 2007, there were 465 fatal motorcycle crashes; there were 433 in 2006; 404 in 2005 and 350 in 2004, according to CHP records.

The same qualities that make California so attractive for residents and tourists alike -- warm weather, plenty of sun and beautiful scenery - also make it an especially popular state for motorcyclists, the release states.

"Year after year, the No. 1 identifiable primary collision factor for motorcycle-involved collisions is unsafe speed," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow, who's also a former police traffic safety motor officer.

"It's important for motorcyclists to minimize their risks by

riding responsibly, always wearing a helmet and other protective gear

and never riding after consuming alcohol."

The CHP strongly encourages all riders to sign up for the California

Motorcyclist Safety Program before beginning to ride. CMSP

offers the Basic RiderCourse for beginners and Advanced RiderCourses for

riders who are interested in sharpening their skills, the release states.

To enroll in a CMSP course at any of the 124 training sites throughout

California call (877) RIDE-411. The CMSP Basic Course will be no more than $250 for

riders who are 21 years old and older and for those under age 21, who are required by

law to take the course, it is $150. Additional information may be

obtained at the CMSP website

May 5, 2009
Two suspects arrested after adult store robbery

From Stan Oklobdzija:

Sacramento Police arrested two men who reportedly held up an adult store on Del Paso Boulevard on Monday night, according to a department release.

David Loria, 18, and Kenyetta Lofton, 18, were arrested after rolling through a stop-sign on Acacia Avenue and Branch Street about 45 minutes after they allegedly robbed Goldie's Adult Book Store about three miles away, Sacramento Police said.

The two men entered the store at about 9:30 p.m. with their faces covered in blue bandanas and robbed customers and the cash register, police said. One of the men had a shotgun during the robbery, according to police.

After an officer spotted the two failing to stop, he discovered the two were on searchable probation and searched the car, the release said. Inside, the officer discovered money from the cash register as well as property from patrons inside the store, police said.

Both men are in Sacramento County Jail on felony charges of armed robbery, conspiracy and receiving stolen property, jail records show.

May 5, 2009
4 Sacramento PD officers honored for helping struggling family

From Kim Minugh:

The Sacramento Rotary Club honored four Sacramento police officers and their sergeant this morning for their generosity in fundraising for a struggling local family.

The "Above & Beyond" award comes with a $1,000 donation to a charity of the recipient's choice. The officers have chosen to donate the money to college funds for the family's two little girls, who lost their mother in March, said police spokeswoman Officer Laura Peck.

The recognized officers were called to the family's one-bedroom apartment on St. Patrick's Day, after the 32-year-old mother collapsed in the kitchen. Dispatchers misunderstood the caller -- a 9-year-old girl - and thought she said the woman had shot herself. The girl actually thought her mom had shocked herself.

They arrived to find the father performing CPR on his wife. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. It appears her death was related to a medical condition.

She left behind her husband, who recently had been laid off from his job as a convenience store clerk; and two daughters, a 9-year-old (who recently turned 10) and a 7-month-old.

Officers were touched by the spirit of the then-9-year-old, who they said spent the day worrying about her other family members and also the officers at the scene. She reportedly apologized to the officers that they had to watch her mother die, and thanked them for trying to help her family.

Overcome by emotion, the officers began a fund-raising effort that quickly spread across the Police Department and included friends and family as well. For the older girl's 10th birthday party - held on Easter Sunday - the officers showed up to deliver $3,700 in cash to the father, bicycles and helmets for him and his older daughter, and other gifts, including school supplies, baby clothes and Target gift cards.

The little girl introduced the officers to her family as "(her) friends."

Recognized were Officers Sunny Cranford, Helen Mortlock, Jason Nollette and Victor Wolfe, and Sgt. Glen Faulkner.

For an earlier The Bee story on this, click here.

May 5, 2009
Redding police say DNA links inmate to 20-year-old strangling

By Bill Lindelof

Redding police have obtained an arrest warrant charging a state prison inmate with a 20-year-old homicide.

Police said Brian Harper, 39, of Redding, an inmate at Corcoran State Prison in Kings County, is linked through DNA evidence with the killing of Judith Hasselstrom, whose body was found Aug. 7, 1988 in the city's Caldwell Park.

Hasselstrom's body, clad only in underwear, was found under what police said was bamboo. Officers found blood and fingerprints on the bamboo but had no luck finding a match.

An autopsy revealed that Hasselstrom had been strangled.

Police said a break in the case occurred when Harper was arrested and found guilty of robbing a Redding bank Nov. 7, 2007. Sentenced to state prison, his fingerprints and DNA samples were entered into a file system that led to his arrest on the cold case.

Redding police said Harper initially denied knowing about the Hasselstrom killing. However, according to a press release, he admitted to the crime when confronted with DNA and fingerprint evidence.

May 5, 2009
Angry truck driver threatened to blow himself up at DMV, CHP says

From Bill Lindelof

A Yuba City truck driver has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to blow himself up at the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Asghar Ali Gorsi, 39, was booked into Sutter County Jail on suspicion of making terrorist threats.

CHP investigators said that Gorsi received a notice from the DMV telling him that his license was being suspended because of several recent violations. Gorsi, a commercial truck driver, had incurred the violations while driving big rigs.

In a call to the DMV in Sacramento on Friday, Gorsi allegedly became enraged over the suspension. Gorsi stated that he was going to go to the Yuba City DMV office and blow himself up on Monday, according to a press release.

The CHP began an investigation. In a telephone call, officers agreed with Gorsi to meet on Saturday but he failed to show.

That began surveillance of Gorsi until Monday when he drove to the Yuba-Sutter CHP office, where he was arrested. The CHP said Gorsi admitted to making the threat to blow himself up.

May 5, 2009
Crime Alert: Police suspect man of passing counterfeit money

unknown 09-014-042709.jpgCitrus Heights Police Department detectives are seeking information leading to the identity of a suspect responsible for passing counterfeit currency, Sacramento Crime Alert officials report.

The suspect (left photo) entered a business in the 6200 block of San Juan Avenue and passed a counterfeit $100 bill, authorities report.

The suspect is described as in his late 20's with shaved head wearing a black jacket, black shorts and sunglasses. The suspect also has visible tattoos on his legs.

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.

May 4, 2009
Truckee Police investigates death of 77-year-old woman

From Stan Oklobdzija:

The Truckee Police Department is investigating the death of a 77-year-old woman who was found in her home, Truckee Police said.

On Thursday, Truckee police and fire units arrived at the home of Beverly Beatrice Williams in the 12000 block of Bavarian Way after receiving a call from a family member, police said. The caller told police that Williams had apparently died of a heart attack, the release said.

A forensics team from the California Department of Justice, as well as additional investigators from the FBI, were called out after Truckee Police began to suspect foul play, the release said.

So far, a suspect has not been identified, nor has a cause of death been released. Police are saying that their investigation has turned up no cause for residents to panic.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Truckee Police Department at (530) 550-2324.

May 4, 2009
Truck driver given suspended sentence in death of Lincoln cyclist

From Stan Oklobdzija:

A Lincoln truck driver was given a one-year suspended sentence and three years of probation after being convicted of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the death of a Lincoln bicyclist in 2007, the Placer County District Attorney's Office said.

Gaspar Reyes, 44, was found guilty of the misdemeanor charge Thursday after a Placer County jury reviewed video photos from an ATM machine that showed Reyes' big-rig failing to stop at Joiner Parkway and Stanmark Lane, according to a news release.

Kathy Marie Gienger, 45, owner of Lincoln Day Spa, was killed after being hit with Reyes' 78,000-pound dirt-hauling truck, the release said.

Reyes told police twice that he stopped at the stop sign, the release said.

In addition, Reyes was given a $300 fine and 100 hours of community service, where he has to high school students "about the responsibility of being a safe driver," the release said.

May 3, 2009
Man 'selling' car arrested for robbing buyer, police say

From Gina Kim:

City police said a man who showed up to buy a car was robbed by a man who set up the meeting.

The incident occurred at 8 p.m. Saturday at Charles Mack Elementary School in south Sacramento, said Sacramento Police Sgt. Norm Leong.

According to Leong, the victim met with a man earlier Saturday and said he would return with money to buy the car.

When he showed up, he was robbed of his cash at gunpoint. He got a license plate number and notified police, Leong said.

Officers spotted the car near the intersection of Meadowview Road and Amherst Street, made the stop and arrest, Leong said.

May 3, 2009
Sacramento man, 25, booked into jail on murder count in Florin-area case

From Bee staff:

The Sacramento Sheriff's Department has arrested a 25-year-old Sacramento man in connection with the homicide of Curtis James Anderson Jr., 20, last Wednesday in the Florin area of south Sacramento.

Deputies said they booked Jamaral Smith into the Sacramento County jail on suspicion of murder and violating his parole.

Smith is scheduled to be arraigned in the Anderson murder case at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Department 61.

According to investigators, the shooting apparently stemmed from a dispute between the two men.

In a news release, the sheriff's department said the victim and suspect argued shortly before gunshots were heard in the 6700 block of Sunnyslope Drive.

When deputies got there Wednesday at 11:33 p.m., they found Anderson on the ground with a gunshot wound in his head. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, the department said.

A suspect was seen running form the apartment complex and driving away in a blue sedan, the news release said.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to contact homicide detectives at (916) 874-5115, or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000.

May 2, 2009
Roseville police seeking violent shoplifter

Bee Staff

The Roseville Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a shoplifter who fled from a home improvement store Thursday afternoon, according to a news release. The shoplifter violently resisted a store employee who tried to stop him, causing injury to the employee.

The release gave this chain of events:

At 2:30 p.m. Thursday, a shoplifter ran out of the back doors of Lowe's on Fairway Drive with merchandise, and got into a waiting car driven by a second suspect. A store employee ran after him, and was pushed out of the vehicle as the vehicle sped away. The injured employee was taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, treated and released.

The shoplifter appears to be a Hispanic or black male, wearing a white beanie cap, sunglasses, a gray t-shirt with white sleeves, and tan cargo shorts. The suspect vehicle is a tan or champagne-colored four-door sedan with a black interior.

Surveillance photos of the shoplifter and the suspects' vehicle are below.

Anyone with any information about this crime is asked to call the Roseville Police Department Investigations Unit at (916) 774-5070, or Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867. Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to arrest.

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Lowes 211 04-30-09 Street view 1.jpg

Lowes 211 04-30-09 Winco vid 2.jpg

May 2, 2009
Sacramento man arrested after attack on his tenant

From Chelsea Phua

Sacramento police say they arrested a 49-year-old Natomas man on suspicion of attempted murder of his tenant.

Sgt. Norm Leong said Stephen Phelps, who has been renting his Meadowview house to a woman in her 20s for a month, struck her in the head with a hammer shortly before 9:15 p.m. Friday.

She was hospitalized in stable condition on Friday night, Leong said.

For unknown reasons, Phelps went to the house in the 7300 block of Amherst Street to shut off the power, Leong said. When the tenant came out, she saw Phelps at the side of the house turning off the power. Leong said the landlord attacked her when she confronted him.

Phelps was arrested without incident at his home in the 5000 block of Archcrest Way and booked into Sacramento County jail early Saturday morning.

May 2, 2009
Sacramento police sergeant injured in crash

From Chelsea Phua

A Sacramento Police Department gang unit sergeant was hurt in a crash in south Sacramento Friday night, police said.

He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong said. A passenger with the sergeant was not injured.

The sergeant was exiting northbound Interstate 5 on Florin Road just before midnight when the accident happened.

A Honda Accord, driven by a man in his 20s, was westbound on Florin Road and about to take the ramp onto northbound Interstate 5 when for unknown reasons, the driver lost control and crashed in the unmarked patrol car, Leong said.

The driver was not taken to the hospital.

No alcohol was involved, Leong said.

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May 2, 2009
Sacramento man dies after knife fight

From Chelsea Phua

A Sacramento man died Friday night after being stabbed in a fight outside a convenience store in the College/Glen area, police said.

Authorities have not released the man's identity, but said he was involved in a melee that broke out slightly before 7:45 p.m. in the parking lot of Express Stop Liquors on Julliard Drive.

Sgt. Norm Leong said there were several men on each side of the fight, but it is unclear exactly how many were involved. By the time officers arrived, the men had left.

Moments later, police were informed that three men who had been stabbed walked into UC Davis Medical Center about 8 p.m. to seek treatment.

One of them, a man in his 20s who was stabbed in his upper body, later died from his injuries. The other two are expected to survive, Leong said.

Investigators have not yet determined what let to the fight, Leong said. Witnesses were providing conflicting descriptions of suspects, he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert at 916-443-HELP, or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Location of Fight

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May 2, 2009
El Dorado County 'home builder' also tool thief, cops say

From Chelsea Phua:

A 27-year-old Somerset man was arrested on suspicion of grand theft after authorities discovered tools belonging to his employer at his residence, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's department report.

Authorities said Bret Michael Chesson has been stealing work tools from his employer, 72-year-old Robert Bryant. Chesson was employed to build a house for Bryant on Blue Mountain Drive in Grizzly Flats. Since hiring Chesson in early April, Bryant said several of his tools have gone missing.

Bryant told authorities last Saturday that a new battery-power "Makita" impact drill he had just ordered went missing. He last saw it earlier that day sitting on the floor of his living room near the door, Bryant said in the report.

He also told authorities about other missing tools: a circular saw, a porter cable plunge router and four framing hammers, one which cost more than $100. Bryant estimated about $900 worth of missing tools.

Authorities said Chesson was on searchable probation. Later that night, a deputy visited Chesson's residence on Artic Lane in Somerset. No one answered the door, but the deputy said he spotted a UPS shipping box sitting beside a garbage can at the front of the driveway.

A sticker on the box read "Makita" and another sticker identified its contents as an impact drill. A shipping label on the box was addressed to Robert Bryant at the Blue Mountain Drive address.

When authorities returned the next day to Chesson's residence, they found other tools fitting the descriptions of Bryant's lost items, the report stated.

Chesson's girlfriend told deputies she was shocked that Chesson wouldn't steal anything, because he had never been a thief.

Chesson later told authorities that he had signed for the drill from UPS and "forgot" to leave it at Bryant's place when he left at the end of the day.

May 2, 2009
No Mother's Day flowers likely in one El Dorado County home

From Chelsea Phua:

Mother's Day likely won't be marked in one El Dorado County residence this year as domestic relations apparently took a nasty turn.

A 19-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of battery with serious bodily injuries after biting her 40-year-old mother on the thigh in a fight this week, according to an El Dorado County Sheriff's department report.

Jo Rasmussen told authorities that said she had been arguing with her daughter, Jennifer Marie Stilwell, since Monday. Stilwell was staying with her foster parents and returned Tuesday afternoon to Rasmussen's Camino apartment on Roosevelt Street to collect some of her belongings.

Rasmussen said her daughter began rummaging through Rasmussen's belonging while in the garage. Rasmussen told her daughter to stop and leave, and tried to close the garage door. But her daughter attempted to keep the door open, and during the struggle, bit her on the left outer thigh and broke the skin, Rasmussen alleged. The bite mark was about two inches long and an inch wide, according to the report.

Stilwell told authorities that during the fight, her mother pushed her to the ground and pinned her down with her left leg, so Stilwell said she had to bit her mother to get her off.

Stilwell also allegedly punched her mother on the head, leaving a sore bump. Stilwell suffered some scrapes and scratches on her right elbow and thumb, the report stated.

May 1, 2009
Folsom PD names officers in fatal shooting, releases report

From Stan Oklobdzija:

The Folsom Police Department Friday released the names of the officers, as well as new details in the shooting death of Joseph Han, 23, on Easter morning last month.

Officer Paul Barber, 32, a seven-year veteran and Sgt. Ron Peterson, 57, a 27-year law-enforcement veteran, shot Han on April 12 in his house on the 100 block of Elkins Circle, Folsom Police said a the report on the shooting.

Folsom Police have concluded their criminal investigation of the incident and have sent the results to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office, said Sgt. Rick Hillman, who heads the department's professional standards department. A separate administrative review of the shooting is expected to be completed next week, he said.

Hillman also gave a description of the chaotic seconds that led to Han's shooting, the first time the Folsom Police Department has given a public account of the incident.

He said police responded to the address at about 10:30 a.m. after a family friend, translating for Han's parents, requested officers come to help deal with him. The caller told police that Han had been hallucinating, hadn't eaten in several days and was locked in his bedroom with a pocket knife, Hillman said.

Because the family did not want to disturb him further, they requested officers meet them several houses away, Hillman said. After discussing the situation with them, Hillman said the family told officers to go inside and talk to Han.

Hillman said Peterson, Barber and another officer entered the house and went upstairs to Han's nine-foot by nine-foot bedroom.

"It was very cluttered," Hillman said. "There were clothes piled up with a narrow path (through them) leading to the bed and the couch."

An officer stepped into Han's room and saw Han sitting on the couch, Hillman said.

At that point, Han stood up, holding a knife, and told him to get out of his room or he'd "cut his throat," Hillman said.

Hillman described Han's weapon as a nine-inch folding knife with a 4.5-inch blade.

The officer drew his Taser stun gun and told Han to stop, Hillman said. When he didn't, he fired the Taser, which had no effect, he said.

Hillman said police weren't able to determine whether both of the Taser's prongs hit Han. If both prongs of a Taser don't hit a person, the charge cannot be delivered.

At this point, Officer Barber entered the room and fired his Taser, which was also ineffective, Hillman said. Han was still advancing on Barber, Hillman said, and as he and the other officer retreated, Barber fired his handgun at Han, apparently striking him.

Han slammed shut the door of his room, Hillman said. Sgt. Peterson, who'd been inspecting another room, ran into the hallway and pushed the door of Han"s room open.

Inside, he found Han sitting back on the couch, Hillman said. Peterson fired his Taser, and again Han was unaffected. Han advanced on Peterson with the knife in his hand, and when the two were within 36 inches of each other, Peterson fired his handgun, Hillman said.

Despite being shot twice, Han and Peterson started wrestling, Hillman said. Peterson grabbed Han's knife hand, and was punched in the mouth in the process, he said.

The officers eventually managed to get Han under control, Hillman said. A waiting ambulance rushed him to UC Davis Medical Center, but Han died, he said.

Like with the first officer, Hillman said Folsom Police would need to wait for a final coroner's report to see if both prongs of Barber's Taser hit Han. The final coroner's report, which is currently awaiting toxicology results, won't be available for several weeks at least, Sacramento County Coroner's officials said.

Hillman said all three officers involved in the incident were taken off administrative leave on Friday and have returned to work.

The Bee was unable to contact the family or a spokesman for comment.

May 1, 2009
3 Placer County deputies honored for DUI busts

Bee Staff

Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently honored three Placer County sheriff's deputies for making more than 70 DUI arrests in 2008.

MADD honored deputies Jason Doolittle, Lakshan DeSilva and Mike Beggs, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Last year, Doolittle netted 30 DUI arrests while DeSilva had 26 and Beggs 18, while working out of the North Lake Tahoe Sheriff's substation, the release states. (Doolittle is at left and DeSilva is at right in photo below.)

Overall, the Sheriff's Department's driving under the influence arrests totaled 314 last year, the release states.

""For every impaired driver these deputies took off the streets, lives may have been saved," Sheriff Ed Bonner said in the release. "Driving under the influence is a big problem in Placer County and we're doing our best to put an end to it."

According to a recent report, drinking and driving is an especially bad idea in Placer County.

The report by the California Department of Motor Vehicles released in March shows that Placer County had a conviction rate of 99.2 percent, the state's highest for those arrested on charges of driving under the influence.

The result, based on 2006 data for DUI arrests and their prosecution through the end of 2007, showed a statewide rate of 79.4 percent. Sacramento County, with a rate of 77 percent, was just slightly below the state number.

doolittle desilva MADD 09 1.jpg

May 1, 2009
Skier dies after hitting tree at Squaw Valley

From Niesha Lofing:

A man from San Bruno has died after hitting a tree while skiing at Squaw Valley, according to the Placer County Sheriff's Department.

Thomas Alfred Johnson died Thursday, according to the news release. No age or other details on Johnson were provided.

Johnson was skiing on the Granite Chief run, apparently lost control and slid into a group of trees, the release states.

"A companion was immediately able to initiate life-saving measures, and very shortly thereafter was relieved by ski patrol and paramedics," the release states.

Granite Chief is designated a "black diamond" run, indicating a high level of difficulty and recommended for more highly skilled skiers.

May 1, 2009
Sacramento wife killer gets 25 years to life

From Andy Furillo:

A weeping Kier Anderson proclaimed his innocence today before a judge sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of his wife three years ago.

"I reassert that I did not murder my wife," Anderson, 42, told the court, saying that the evidence that convinced a jury he strangled his wife, Jennifer, on Feb. 28, 2006, and strung her up in the garage of their Tahoe Park home to make it look like a suicide was "tainted, altered or destroyed" and that "facts have been distorted or presented out of context."

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Greta Curtis Fall disagreed.

"The defendant received a fair and just trial and jurors returned a fair and just verdict," Fall said, before imposing the life term on Anderson.

Prosecutors charged that Anderson killed his 28-year-old wife because he had lost control of her and that she had planned to separate from him.

The break-up came after the bisexual Anderson invited a male friend into their home and his wife and the new partner established an intimate relationship of their own.

"All of his anger toward Jennifer resulted in him squeezing the life out of her ... until he ultimately killed her," Deputy District Attorney Ruanne Dozier told the court.

In his statement in court, Anderson also blasted his in-laws for keeping his two daughters away from him after winning custody of them in court.

"They've been forcibly separated from their home, their pets, and the love and attention of their father, and their parental grandparents by people intent on causing further pain and suffering," Anderson said.

He said that Jennifer Anderson's parents - former Assistant Public Defender Lawrence Knobloch and his wife, Sheila - "have perpetuated a completely false scenario not supported by the facts and the evidence."

Lawrence Knobloch said outside court the convicted murderer's statement "just shows his denial and his lack of concern for anybody other than himself. There was nothing in there that was not self serving."

Knobloch said he and his wife have since adopted the two girls and that visitation rights were denied to Anderson's parents because "they were blaming us for everything" and violating court orders that they not talk about the case with the daughters when they had them.

Anderson's parents declined to comment when they left the courthouse today.

Sheila Knobloch, in a statement to the court, said one of the couple's daughters appears to be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder "due to the fact that she heard and possibly saw the struggle between Jen and Kier."

Anderson denied that she was in their house at the time authorities said Jennifer Anderson was killed.

May 1, 2009
Thumbprint leads to arrest of suspected identity thief

From Niesha Lofing:

An Elk Grove man was arrested this week for allegedly having used another person's identity to get a department store credit card and purchase merchandise in Rocklin.

Adrian Conyers.1.jpgThe suspected identity thief is Adrian Harvey Conyers, 52 (left).

Rocklin police were called on Feb. 23 to RC Willey Home Furnishings on a report of an identity theft.

Officers were told that a man fraudulently used the identity of another person to apply for and receive a store credit card and used the card to buy two laptop computers and a digital camera, totaling $2,800, a police news release states.

The credit card application included the subject's thumbprint that a Rocklin police lab technician analyzed to determine it was that of Conyers', the release states.

On Tuesday, officers searched Conyers' home in the 4800 block of Story Way and arrested him on suspicion of identity theft, commercial burglary and a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole violation.

Conyers is being held without bail in Placer County Jail in Auburn.

May 1, 2009
North Sac DUI enforcement gets a boost today

From Niesha Lofing:

Sacramento police will step up efforts to find drunken drivers in the north area of the city today.

Officers will be checking motorists driving through the sobriety and drivers license checkpoint for alcohol and drug impairment, a police news release states.

Officers also will check to make sure drivers have valid licenses.

The location and duration of the operation will be specified two hours before the checkpoint is in place, the release states.

The checkpoint is funded through a grant from the state Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

May 1, 2009
Gunshots, fleeing juveniles precede 3 Galt arrests

From Niesha Lofing:

Suspected gang activity disrupted a Galt neighborhood Thursday evening, leading to the arrest of three boys.

Officers were called about 6:42 p.m. to the 200 block of 2nd Street on a report of possible shots fired, a police news release states.

Witnesses provided suspect descriptions, and Galt police searched the area and found three juveniles about a half-mile away on Spruce Avenue. The boys fled when officers approach but were caught and taken into custody.

Two of the boys had no-bail juvenile warrants, and the third allegedly possessed a loaded firearm, the release states. All three were booked into the Sacramento County Juvenile Detention Center.

Police say they believe the incident is gang-related. An investigation continues.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Galt police at (209) 366-7000.

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