Police Blotter: Armed robbery of Kenwood pot farm

Posted on September 25, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Five men were arrested Tuesday morning for breaking in to a Kenwood man’s home and robbing him at gunpoint. The victim was unhurt, but later he himself was arrested when investigators located a large marijuana growing operation on the grounds of his Cougar Lane home.

Here’s how it went down: a man called 911 at about 8 a.m. to report that five men toting various firearms had broken into his home and robbed him. Four other people were in the house at the time. Deputies responding to the scene stopped two vehicles leaving the area – sure enough, the cars contained the five fleeing suspects.

All five men (none from Sonoma Valley) were positively identified by the victims and by a video surveillance camera. They were hauled off on armed robbery charges. After the suspects were in custody, the resident informed the Sheriff’s Department that deputies were not allowed on his property, despite their need to check on the welfare of the robbery victims and to investigate the crime. The man refused to open two gates that led to the property.

After about a one-mile walk, the deputies arrived at the residence and soon located the pot farm. The resident was arrested for cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.

No place to do business

A worker in the Pueblo Serena Mobile Home Park had his suspicions about a black Toyota Tacoma that had been seen around the grounds. The morning of September 16, the man again saw the truck and, unfortunately for all concerned, the unseemly site of its driver defecating behind a dumpster. When he yelled “don’t do it,” he said another man emerged from the truck and menaced him with threats and insults. Ultimately, the abusive man was located and picked out of a photo lineup. Charge: misdemeanor assault.

Please hold

After school at Adele Harrison on September 16, a girl, 13, was talking on the phone when a boy, 12, ran by and snatched the cell out of her hand. She didn’t make much of an effort to get it back, figuring “dad would take care of it.” He did. The lad, easily found at his home, said the girl, by not objecting to his prank, had basically given the phone to him. The cops were disinclined to acquiesce to that theory. Sticky-fingers was instead cited for petty theft.

War of the roses

It was a sunny Mexican Independence Day on the Plaza and a Hispanic gentleman, 45, was strolling through the Plaza Rose Garden, stopping to smell the flowers and, in violation of city code, picking two of them. A police officer warned the man, and took away the roses to make his point. Moving to a garbage can to discard the flowers, the officer instead decided to put them to better use, and gave them to a woman standing nearby. The act was witnessed by the man’s wife, who became extremely angry, yelling at the officer and calling him a racist. She taunted him by toying with the flowers and threatening to pull more off the bushes. The husband upped the ante by actually plucking loose a flower, thus earning a citation.

Full moon

The injured man (cut fingers) at the hospital related to police that he had been in a 15-person brawl at the Blue Moon Saloon – and the tussle might still be in progress. This in the wee hours of September 14. Officers called the bar to inquire, whereupon an employee abruptly stated there was no fight, and hung up. Curiosity piqued, officers arrived on the scene to find a man in bloody shirt outside the premises. The man, 41, from El Verano, had a gun in his pocket. (A gun he had previously reported as stolen). The man admitted to being drunk and stupid. He said there had been a fight, thanks in part to a rival breaking a bottle over his head. He was 86’d from the club, but took a taxi home to get his gun, then came back. That earned him a charge of intent to commit a felony rap, along with possession of a loaded weapon and probation violation.

Getting the creeps

Odd encounter, and possible robbery, at Halem & Company on September 14. A clerk was unnerved by a strange man – white, short, heavy build, around age 50 – hanging around the store. Then the man quietly said to her, “I’m here to rob you.” After repeating the menacing phrase, he told the shocked staffer he was “only joking.” Her emphatic reply: not funny. As she walked to the back to summon a co-worker, the man said to her, “I’ve been a manager, and you are handling this all wrong.” The creep left the store without incident. An inventory, and video review, will determine if he left with anything else.


The female high school student vomiting in the nurse’s office on September 12 was feeling the effects of a pot brownie she had bought on campus that morning. The 15-year-old Spings girl and her friend, who said she “felt funny and a little sick,” directed cops to the purveyor of the illicit baked goods. The boy, 16, said he had baked the specialties himself, and sold them for $5 each to the girls. He had seven more in his backpack, each neatly bagged, along with two marijuana buds in a small plastic bottle. The half-baked chef was handcuffed and taken to juvenile hall on charges of possession of marijuana for sale, and possession on school grounds. The girls were not charged.

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