Police blotter: Parcel porch thief; mail bandit; meth-in-bra, and more

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Thief targets parcels on front porches: A woman on a stolen bike rifled through parcels outside of two homes before disappearing through the unlocked door of a stranger’s Fano Lane house. The caper culminated at about 2:45 p.m. on June 22 when a neighbor saw a woman in her early twenties (average build, dark hair) ride up on a beach cruiser. The suspect went onto a neighboring porch and began opening boxes, eventually stashing about $175 worth of books and clothing into her backpack. When the witness came outside to inquire as to the legitimacy of her visit, the suspect took off. Leaving behind the bike (it had been stolen from a nearby house), the thief ran into the open garage another house and disappeared. Police say she picked the home at random, then exited to the backyard and a fence-jumping escape. Still at large, the box bandit is implicated in two similar heists in the area.

Rash of mail thefts

The flag on your mailbox may be a red flag. Homes on Vineyard Circle and Fifth Street West are the latest to report their mail in disarray – not only their own envelopes opened and emptied, but postal refuse from a different address. Seems the thief (and accomplice?) grabs random stacks of mail, rifles through it for outgoing checks, and then leaves the tattered remains in the next box.

It’s always the last place you look

A burned-out license plate bulb, and the fact that the white Cadillac swerved into the bike lane three times, attracted the attention of a trailing police car near midnight on June 23. Deputies smelled pot, but the female driver, 37, from Petaluma, was more into meth: some found in a gum wrapper, more in a baggie under the floor mat. She was arrested for drug possession, which proved just the beginning; when booked into jail, meth and pills were discovered in her bra.

Aisle be seeing you

Attention Safeway shoppers: the gold and pearl ring you may find is not one of the daily specials. The heirloom was reported lost by a woman who said the vintage bling, worth $100 in 1961, slipped off her finger while shopping on January 23.

Hit and run

A red BMW unable to stop for red-light traffic at Highway 12 and West Napa ran into the side of a Toyota truck, then drove away. The driver of the truck, alone in the car, was uninjured in the early evening crash on June 22.

Take a break

What’s with the former student who keeps showing up at the high school? The young man, 14, had been warned earlier to stay off the campus. But here he was again, about 3 p.m. on January 21, getting into a fight in front of a classroom window. The teacher emerged to break up the ruckus. The lad was charged with trespassing, and relayed to Juvenile Hall.

Last call

Seemingly without provocation, though the time of 1:46 a.m. may have been a factor, a man at Steiners Tavern punched a customer in the head on January 19. The sudden blow knocked the victim to the ground, whereupon the suspect, a 25-year-old Santa Rosa man, continued to punch him as he lay unconscious on the ground with his head dangling from the barstool footrest. The assailant then approached another customer, police said, with the threat, “I’ll knock you out, too.” He was still on the premises when officers arrived, and denied the assault; several witnesses said otherwise. When roused, the victim, 32, from the Springs, declined the attention of the awaiting paramedics. He said he did not know the perp, who was booked on charge of battery with serious injury.

Keeping it surreal

Expressive vandals – two, by the looks of their handwriting – went on a black-marker binge late on January 18, using two cars as message boards. On the 500 block of Curtin Lane, the message “Free Candy” was scrawled on one side of a Ford van; the message “You Only Live Once, So Go Nuts,” aggressively punctuated by an obscenity, appeared on the other. On the 400 block of Rosalie, it was a garage door that was hit. Along with indecipherable cryptic markings was one of the go-to slogans for taggers with writer’s block: “F*@ k everything.”

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