Police Blotter: Drunk pees on car; fake landlord scam; and more

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Sonoma Valley Sun

A Petaluma man was arrested April 14 for a DUI and resisting arrest after pulling up to a stranger’s house on MacArthur Lane and urinating on a parked car. The resident was taking out his garbage when the 37-year-old Petaluma man stopped his white Volvo at about 10 p.m. and began relieving himself. Officers were summoned, and, greeted with a slurred “What’s up, bro?” quickly ascertained the man was seriously intoxicated. He refused tests of any kind, and grew confrontational to the point that it took four deputies to get him cuffed, under maximum restraint and into the police car for the long ride to the Santa Rosa slammer.

Mail suspect

A 71-year-old resident of the 100 block of Chiquita Camino reported a surprisingly simple and effective mail fraud. A scammer filled out a change of address form at the post office – for which no ID or proof of move is required – to direct the victim’s mail to an address in Los Angeles. From there, rifling through the mail, and lifting the social security number to open a bank account, was a simple exercise. Police here feel the scam, now shut down, won’t be a high priority for L.A.P.D. detectives.

The fake landlord scam

In a world of increasing cons, frauds and hustles, this old-school grift still gets high marks for sheer hutzpah. On April 16, a Sonoma property management company discovered a bogus version of one of its rental listings on Craig’s List. The details were the same save two: the rent was cheaper, and the landlord was a “Sonny Welch” out of Oklahoma City, to whom the dupe renter would have sent the initial rent check. When contacted by phone, “Sonny” laughed and hung up. No recourse, really, despite the law, born of these kind of shenanigans, that specifically outlaws impersonating a landlord.

Seeing the light

It took the Sonoma man, 41, several highway miles to realize he was being followed by a sheriff’s vehicle, siren on and lights flashing. Driving with the headlights of his Toyota Tundra turned off at 11 p.m. on April 16, the suspect was followed from Calistoga Road to Oakmont, where he made a few random turns before pulling over. Yes, he admitted to no one’s surprise, “I’ve had a couple. I’m a little drunk.” Officers confirmed the self-diagnosis, and arrested the Curtin Lane resident for drunk driving.

Bogus bill

A customer at Broadway Shell on April 16 said he wanted $20 of gas, and $30 cash back from his $50 bill. When the clerk pointed out that the bill was clearly counterfeit, the man countered by presenting a $5 bill, for gas only. He quickly left the premises, neglecting to gas up on the way out.

I know you are, but what am I?

Hormones the likely cause of an April 15 fight at the high school. One 18-year-old male took physical umbrage against a rival, also 18, for dating his ex girlfriend. Or was it the other way around? The spat ended without injuries, but citations for fighting on school grounds.

Two beers, no lights

The 84 Mercedes, headlights off and speeding and swerving along Highway 12 just before midnight on April 15, was an easy mark. Officers caught up with the driver, a 27-year old from Aqua Caliente, at Ramon. He admitted to consuming the proverbial “two beers,” specifically IPAs, at friend’s house. Testing out at a .12 blood alcohol level, he was cited and released.

Frail woman rescued

The police action of forcing their way into a house on the 600 block of Austin Avenue may have saved a life on April 14. Deputies were alerted to the locked home by a cleaning woman, who was worried that her client, an 84-year-old woman, had not responded to the doorbell or phone. The neighbors were canvassed; the hospital was checked, even the taxi service she sometimes used to run errands. No trace. When deputies forced their way in, a faint cry was heard from a bedroom. The woman had fallen on the ground between the wall and her bed some 24 hours earlier. She was rescued from the unsanitary scene and hospitalized.

Deduction or induction?

A resident of the 1200 block of Ingram Drive was shocked and dismayed on April 14 to learn that not only had her taxes been filed without her knowledge, so had her husband’s. The ID scam, not uncommon these days, counts on a refund check that the scammer then steals and secretly deposits.

Fear in the family

A troubled household on Fifth Street West added another chapter to its morose legacy on April 13 when a 19-year-old man was booked for threatening to harm his father, 62. When the son asked his dad for money and was told he had none, police said, the younger man threatened to kill him. Fearing violence, the father left in his car and, when the son took up pursuit in his own vehicle, called police from his mobile phone at about 2:30 p.m. A rendezvous was arranged, at which the son, who denied any wrongdoing, was booked on a felony charge. It was later reclassified as a misdemeanor by the District Attorney.

Resisting arrest in an arresting leopard print

After a loud and drunken argument at the Town Square bar with her jealous companion, a stylish 21-year-old Springs woman turned her boozy belligerence towards police officers responding to the April 12 incident. She told the inquiring cops they had no reason to bother her. “Don’t go there with me,” she said, and began to lash out, swinging at the officer and, as she was escorted to the ground, kicking him in the chest. The April 12 struggle – needless to say it was about 1 a.m. — ended with her in cuffs, facing charges of battery on a police officer and obstructing an investigation.

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