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Crime Reduction in Richmond and RPD Activities

I thought this email from Chief Magnus was particularly encouraging:


There was an editorial in todayís West County Times lauding the efforts of the Antioch Police Department for a 14% Part I crime reduction for the year to date compared to the same period last year.  Kudos to Antioch, but it would have been nice if the paper had done a little more research.  In Richmond, note the following crime stats for the same period:



YTD 2008

YTD 2007

% change


























YTD 2008

YTD 2007

% change























These are impressive reductions in almost all categories thanks to the great work of our personnel with help from the community.  Obviously, the homicide rate is a continuing challenge for all of us, but we continue to work on ways to focus on the most dangerous and violent individuals who are involved in these shootings.  As our efforts with GSET, the DOJ Gun Task Force, and our new West Co. Gang Task Force continue, I believe we will make progress in this area as well.


Here are a few other highlights from the past few days:


Monday, April 7, 2008, 5:00 p.m., Ohio Ave. and So. 16th--Officer Reina conducted a traffic enforcement stop and smelled a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the interior of the vehicle.  A search of the vehicle yielded nearly an ounce of marijuana and a loaded Kimber .45 pistol behind the driverís seat.  The pistol was reported stolen out of Las Vegas.  The 23 year-old driver, admitted to possession of both items and to being a marijuana dealer. 


Saturday, April 5, 2008ó8:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.-- Approximately 24 police candidates participated in the police testing process administered by the Personnel/Recruiting Unit of the department.


          Saturday, April 5, 1:20 a.m.--504 Sanford Avenue and 404 Maine Avenue--Officers were dispatched to the report of a carjacking at 504 Sanford Avenue.  Officers contacted the victims and learned that two suspects (described as black males), each of whom was armed with a handgun, approached the victims and took their Chevy Blazer.


            At 3:35 a.m., Officer Cantrell and his recruit Officer Nelson, heard approximately 10 shots fired from the area of 400 Maine Avenue.  Immediately after hearing the gunshots they saw the carjacked vehicle turn west onto Cutting Boulevard from South 9th Street.  Officer Cantrell attempted to stop the car and a pursuit ensued.  The vehicle fled into North Richmond and the driver and passenger both abandoned the car at Sanford Avenue and Battery Street.  The driver, identified as seventeen year old XXX, discarded a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol during the foot chase (which was recovered) and was apprehended by Officer Vallerga.


            The passenger fled into a residential block and a perimeter was set with the assistance of CCSO.  A search with Officer Cantrellís canine and the assistance of a CHP helicopter was fruitless as the suspect appeared to have broken the perimeter prior to it being set up.  An infield line-up was conducted on the apprehended suspect by the victims and he was positively identified as one of the armed suspects that committed the carjacking.


            During this incident a gunshot victim showed up at Kaiser Hospital and it was learned that he was shot in front of 404 Maine Avenue.  He was in stable condition with gunshot wounds to his leg and back.  Further investigation revealed that he was shot at the time that Officer Cantrell began the pursuit and it appears that the carjacking suspects were responsible for the shooting.  There was physical evidence located at 404 Maine to include a blood trail and expended cartridge casings indicative of a shootout between people on the property of 404 Maine Avenue and someone in the street.  The shooting victim could not identify the suspects or suspect car, but ballistic evidence was recovered from the carjacked vehicle to include expended cartridge casings of the same caliber as the gun that was discarded by the driver.  Officer Smith was invaluable to the follow up investigation as he interviewed the suspect prior to being transported to Juvenile Hall.


            All in all, this was a well coordinated response by patrol officers and outstanding police work from the initial observation, the pursuit, the search for the suspects, and the follow up investigation that identified the carjacking suspect.


Homicide Case Update:  On September 21, 2006, JOHNATHAN ARMSTRONG was shot and killed in front of 111 6th St.  In the process of the murder it was later found he was also robbed during the incident. The only eyewitness that came forward in this case was Ramona Price.  Price identified RONALD BONNER JR as the suspect.


Bonner was eventually located several months later in Eureka and was arrested for the warrant our department obtained for him.  In October 2007, PRICE was murdered.  Her murder was bad in terms for this case.  BONNER was offered a plea and last week he plead guilty to the plea.  RONALD BONNER JR. plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a prison term of 12 years.  Thanks to all of those who helped with this case. At least BONNER will be off the streets of Richmond for some time. ~ Detective Nicole Abetkov, Robbery - Homicide Unit