Police Blotter: Mystery truck; teen addicted to card game; IRS scam; and more

Posted on March 12, 2014 by Sonoma Valley Sun

As beat up as it was, the Toyota pickup parked along the 900 block of West Spain turned out to be hot. Some papers inside the rig, reported stolen in San Rafael in December, lead to woman, 46, in a nearby home on March 4. Official queries as to how she came to be in possession of the truck were met with a long, tangled and oft-altered narrative. At first she said she bought it for $300 from somebody in San Rafael, and had no paperwork or contact info for the mysterious seller. The deal felt funny, she told cops, “but it was too good to pass up.” She then said she bought the vehicle from a woman in Glen Ellen, where the truck had broken down. Or no, it was after the truck was fixed, involving a ride from a friend of her half-sister, who would of course verify the story if she only hadn’t just lost her phone. When the Sonoma woman was (finally) arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, she figured she might as well tell the truth. The truck had been parked near the El Verano Inn for three days when a friend had the bright idea of simply driving it away (the faulty ignition worked with any key) and keeping it.

Who cleaned the garage while I was gone?

Another reason not to go to jail: your old motorcycle gets stolen out of your garage while you’re doing time. The theft was reported from a home in the 800 block of First St. W. on March 4.

Parents have teenager so arrested

On March 4, the parents of a 14-year-old they say has become defiant and uncontrollable had the boy arrested for assaulting them. Earlier that day, the father had found the boy in possession of 6.3 grams of pot, and brought him to the police department to be arrested. The stash, which the kid admitted was his, earned only a citation, so the two left the station together. That night, officers responded to a call at the family home, where the parents said that, in an argument over the boy’s drug use and unruly behavior, he kicked and punched them. He was taken to juvenile hall.

Unknown dependent

A Sonoma man received a legitimate letter from the IRS on March 4 asking for additional information about his tax return. One problem – he hadn’t filed yet. Turns out a scam artist had used his name and social security number to file a bogus claim, probably in hopes of keeping any return.

Can it

Vandals spray painted gang symbols on the fence and wall around Sonoma’s little league baseball field. Figure about $400 to clean up the mess.

Wrong note

Overnight burglary March 3 from a wide-open garage on the 800 block of Third St, W. An electric bass guitar, and accessories, was the only thing missing.

Phone scam invokes IRS

In another version of the phone shakedown, the scam in which a purported authority demands money to cover a bill or fine, a Sonoma woman heard from “the IRS” on March 3. The bogus bureacrat said she owed $10,688 in back taxes, and had one hour to pay up, or have an attorney intervene, for a $2,000 fee. The scammer directed the woman, 59, to retain the attorney by purchasing a pre-paid Green Dot cash card, and then supply the card’s PIN numbers to the “agent” for redemption. Use of the cash card, or course, makes the deal untraceable, and the woman is out the $2,000.

Grafffiti artist in residence

A reported vandalism in progress brought a deputy to Boyes Boulevard and Riverside at about 8 p.m. on March 2, where the sound of mischief and the smell of paint wafted up from beneath the bridge. Of the several young males in the area, one, age 18, became the focus of attention. In his backpack were spray paint cans in colors that matched the fresh tags, an issue of “Clout,” and underground magazine for graffiti artists, and marijuana. He was arrested on charges of vandalism and pot possession.

Drunk of the Week

A Springs man, 41, driving a Dodge pick-up was observed making an errant and dangerous turn in front of crosswalk at Verano and Highway 12 at about 10:30 p.m. on March 1. Duly pulled over, the man exhibited the predictable symptoms of intoxication. He said he hadn’t consumed any alcohol; he was just nervous. At .121, then breath test said otherwise. He was jailed.

Addicted to a trading card game

A 14-year-old pulled a knife on his father, part of a “downward spiral” the family blames on the boy’s addiction to the fantasy game “Magic: The Gathering.” An obsession with the game led to bad grades and introverted behavior, said the father, who forbid further play. He was searching the boy’s room for game cards on March 1 when the teen brandished a knife with three-inch blade. When cops arrived, the boy told them he had thrown the knife in the bushes. He was cited to Youth and Family Services.

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