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Residents Encounter Burglars – 3 Cases in 3 Days

The El Cerrito Police Blotter for Feb. 25-28 includes three instances of residents encountering burglars at their homes, including one case where the two alleged burglars were caught with stolen items while driving away.

Editor's note: the El Cerrito Police Blotter below is provided by the El Cerrito Police Department.

February 25, 2013 

Attempted Burglary – 6600 Block of Lincoln Ave 
Two subjects attempted to break into the victim’s residence at 0800 hours but were frightened away by the resident before they got inside. 

Grand Theft – Trader Joes (225 El Cerrito Plaza) 
A customer at Trader Joes had cash stolen from her purse after she accidently left it in the store. 

Stolen Vehicle (Recovered) – 1900 block of Kearney St 
An officer located an unoccupied stolen Honda Ridgeline at 3:17 pm. 

Burglary - 8200 block of Terrace Drive 
An unknown suspect gained entry into the residence by prying open a window. The suspect then stole a laptop and various pieces of jewelry. The theft occurred between 2/19 at 7:30 pm and 2/25 at 4:30 pm. 

Burglary (Auto) - 195 El Cerrito Plaza- 
An unknown suspect smashed the right front window of a Honda and stole a laptop bag, which only contained miscellaneous items. Most of the stolen property was located in the creek area of the plaza and then returned to the owner. The theft occurred on 2/19 between 6:15 and 6:30 pm. 

Burglary (Auto) - 5040 El Cerrito Plaza- 
An unknown suspect shattered the left rear window of a Hyundai and stole the victim’s backpack. The backpack was located several parking stalls away and was missing several small items. The theft occurred on 2/25 between the hours of 4:30 and 8:10 pm. 

Drunk in Public - 11300 block of San Pablo Avenue 
Officers were dispatched to the 1500 block of South 56th Street on the report of an unknown female in the reporting party’s backyard. Officers located the female on San Pablo Avenue, but the reporting party declined to make a citizen’s arrest for trespassing. Officers arrested the female, a 47-year-old Richmond resident, for being drunk in public. The female was booked and released to a family member. 

February 26, 2013 

Commercial Burglary / Shoplifter – Safeway (11450 San Pablo Ave) 
Officers arrested a 49-year-old Oakland resident after he was stopped by security for shoplifting at Safeway. The suspect had an extensive prior theft conviction record, and previously issued civil citations in the past by Safeway Loss prevention. He was booked and transported to MDF. 

Attempted Burglary- 1700 block of Wesley Avenue 
The resident reports an unknown suspect attempted to pry open the rear door of their residence between the hours of 6:00 pm on 2/25 and 7:00 am on 2/26. 

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia - 6100 block of Potrero Avenue 
A 35-year-old Richmond resident was arrested for being in possession of drug paraphernalia during a suspicious person contact. The subject was booked at the ECPD and then released with a citation. 

February 27, 2013 

Residential Burglary – 1000 block of Arlington Blvd. 
Three suspects forced entry into the victim’s residence while she was away, within a 10-minute period, between 7:00 and 7:10 am. The victim returned home and found the suspects loading her stolen property into their car. The suspects fled in the vehicle. The victim and nearby witnesses described the suspects as Hispanic men driving a gray or gold colored early 2000’s Honda. Although the vehicle was older, it had paper plates. 

Drunk in Public - 500 block of Liberty Street 
A 23-year-old El Cerrito man was arrested for being drunk in public during a suspicious person call. The male was booked at the ECPD and then released to sober relative. 

Possession of Metal Knuckles - Cutting Boulevard @ South 50th Street- 
A 27-year-old Richmond man was arrested for being in possession of metal knuckles during a traffic enforcement stop. The male was booked at the ECPD and then released with a citation. 

Driving Under the Influence - San Pablo Avenue @ Schmidt Lane 
A 30 year-old Berkeley resident was arrested for DUI during a traffic enforcement stop. The subject was booked at the ECPD and then released to a friend. 

February 28, 2013 

Possession of Burglary Tools – 400 Block of Kearney Street 
Officers responded to a suspicious person call and arrested three males, a 13 year old and 21 year old from Oakland and a 21year old from Hayward, for possession of burglary tools. Witnesses in the area alerted the Police Department to the subjects. 

Burglary and Conspiracy - 1300 block of Lawrence Street 
At 10:15 pm, a resident called the ECPD to report that two unknown suspects were in the garage/basement area of their residence. Officers responded to the scene and were able to locate the suspect vehicle being driven away from the scene. During the traffic stop officers located several pieces of property which were taken from the victim’s residence. Officers arrested a 49-year-old Rio Vista man and a 52-year-old Richmond man for burglary and conspiring to commit burglary. Both subjects were booked at the ECPD and then transported to the MDF. 

A Note from ECPD – Paper Dealer Plates 

Although not suspicious, in themselves, residents should pay close attention to older vehicles sporting paper dealer plates. In several recent burglaries, both residential and automobile, witnesses spotted suspect vehicles equipped with dealer plates. None of these vehicles were new cars. One tactic, used by burglars and other thieves, is to steal paper dealer plates from a used car dealership and use them to obscure the license plate on their car, during the commission of a crime. If you see an older model vehicle, equipped with paper dealer plates, give the car extra consideration. If it does not belong in your neighborhood or is suspicious in some other way, consider notifying the El Cerrito Police. The El Cerrito Police Officers would be pleased to check it out for you. 

The El Cerrito Police Blotter can be found also on nixle.com

For other police-related news in El Cerrito, click "El Cerrito police" next to Related Topics below. For alerts to updates on future police-related articles, click Keep me posted.

EC Resident March 02, 2013 at 04:01 PM
I've noticed that a couple of recent incidents in my neighborhood failed to make it into the police blotter last week. Overnight on Feb 23/24, burglars pried open a locked window and entered an unoccupied, but furnished, residence in the del Norte area near Arlington. Neighbors contacted the police the following morning when they noticed that the window and the rear door were left hanging wide open. On the same evening, someone smashed the windshield of a car that was parked on the street about six houses down. If these events weren't included on the blotter, it makes me wonder if "less dramatic' crimes like these are so common that the police don't even feel its necessary to share them with the public.
KB March 02, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I am worried about the number of home burglaries. Enough to make me think about getting a dog--I already have an alarm. Has it always been this bad? I have lived here for 14 years....
John Stashik March 02, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Joe Biden, VP, "...advised gun owners to “just fire the shotgun through the door.” He also doubled-down on his claim that most people can “handle a shotgun a hell of a lot better than they can a semi-automatic weapon." So there's an idea. I don't believe in firing through the front door. You'd just ruin a door. But a shotgun can provide protection as our Vice President suggests. Maybe Joe could come to El Cerrito and calm fears here.
THOMAS BUELL March 03, 2013 at 12:47 AM
IT IS STRANGE ,HOW AS THE CRIME RATE INCREASES , SO DOES THE PRICE OF HOMES IN EL CERRITO ! BULLDOZE E.C. PLAZA & BUILD A DRIVE-IN & WATCH THE CRIME RATE DROP !!!!!!!!!!
Alvin Mabuhay March 03, 2013 at 01:47 AM
In two of the auto burglary reports mentioned items were left inside: a laptop case in one, a backpack in another-coincidence? This scenario will repeat over and over and over as long as people create opportunities to become victims. Leave your valuables at home, lock them in the trunk or take them with you. And not sure how anyone can live in El Cerrito without having either an alarm or a dog-or both. The ones that don't...better have good insurance.
John Stashik March 03, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Multiple dogs are better. Jack Russell Terriors can be lethal.
EC Matt March 04, 2013 at 10:37 PM
As some one who has 3 Jack Russell Terriers, I agree with John....although I'm not sure they'd scare off a determined burglar.
Borris Batanov March 05, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Interesting fact: According to city-data.com Albany has a crime index of 205. EC has a crime index of 347. The national average is 319. Thus the town right next to EC has approximately a third less crime. From the same source, although median income is higher in EC ($74k) than Albany ($72k), median house/condo value is significantly higher in Albany ($523k) than in EC ($446k). Could it be that housing values in EC are depressed by the crime rate?
Susan March 05, 2013 at 10:22 PM
I have an eleven year old beagle who sleeps on my sofa all day. However, EVERYONE who comes to my house when I'm not home says she sounds very ferocious to anyone approaching my property. She barks her head off. Hopefully, that is a deterrent.
Just a Mom March 07, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Locking items in your trunk is not the answer either, if a criminal is watching a parking lot, they are watching the owners of the car as well. Had my purse and back pack stolen that way...popped my trunk in a heart beat and I didn't know until I was home.
Chris March 08, 2013 at 11:20 PM
I just had my home broken into on Gladys Ave. To me... It's someone that is watching the neighborhood and following your patterns. I had to take my wife to the airport. In my opinion, someone watched me load suitcases into the trunk and leave. Be vigilant. Watch for people "casing" your neighborhood. I assume a lot of the crimes are connected.

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