Tom Butt for Richmond City Council The Tom Butt E-Forum About Tom Butt Platform Endorsements of Richmond Councilmember Tom Butt Accomplishments Contribute to Tom Butt for Richmond City Council Contact Tom Butt Tom Butt Archives
E-Mail Forum
Crime and Punishment in Richmond - Your Police Department at Work

The following update was provided by Chief Magnus:

Dear City Council Members and Others,

Summer may be coming to an end, but the past week has been a busy time for PD personnel.  In addition to a lot of great police work, department staff have also been actively responding to many community needs and quality of life issues as you can see below.

I hope you have a great Holiday weekend.  Stay safe!

Chief Magnus

Thursday, August 28, 2008, 6:45 p.m., S. 15th St. and Cutting Blvd.--Officers were detailed to the 1400 block of Virginia Avenue on a report of a disturbance involving several juveniles.  Officers observed groups of males walking away in different directions from the above listed area.  Officer Zeidan, accompanied by Officer Shanks and Officer Vallerga, attempted to make consensual contact with one of the groups to determine if there was a problem.  As they approached three subjects, one person, an 18 year-old male, grabbed an object in his waistband concealed beneath his shirt and attempted to flee.  The three subjects were detained and a U.S. brand .32 revolver was seized from this subject.  Another one of the subjects was found to be in possession of a Lorcin .380 pistol.  A third subject had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and was found to be in possession of marijuana.

Wed., August 27, 2008, 8:30 p.m., Lower SW Richmond--Officer Bruce observed a white Nissan pick-up truck, occupied by three persons and loaded with trash, cruising the streets in the lower southwest area.  This area is often times used by persons to discard trash and yard waste.  A check of the license plate revealed the vehicle to be reported stolen.  After waiting for his cover to arrive, Officer Bruce attempted an enforcement stop but the driver attempted to flee.  The truck struck the street sign at the northwest corner of 4th Street and Bissell Avenue and the male driver fled from the vehicle, leaving his two female passengers behind.  Officer Bruce quickly coordinated the establishment of a perimeter to seal the area and Officer Cantrell and his canine partner responded to assist with the search.  The suspect was located and taken into custody after canine contact to his left thigh, which caused minor injuries.  A 43 year-old male was positively identified by Officer Bruce and the female passengers from the stolen vehicle as being the driver.  Property Detectives responded to the scene to assist with the arrest and investigation.  The driver was also found to have a no-bail PAL warrant issued for his arrest.

Wed., August 27, 2008, 2:30 p.m., 432 5th Street--Officers Cantrell, Whitson and Purcell were on foot in the 400 block of 5th Street when they observed marijuana plants growing the backyard fence at 432 5th Street.  The property 46 year-old owner was detained and Officer Cantrell wrote a search warrant.  They located 11 9’ mature plants, 1½ pounds of packaged marijuana, a scale, 2 unregistered pistols and $8,500 in treasury bonds.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008, 6:15 p.m., 200 block of 8th St.--Officer Fonseca made a traffic enforcement stop in the 200 block of 8th Street and determined that the 24 year-old driver was unlicensed and on California Youth Authority parole for robbery.  During a search of the driver, Officer Fonseca located a baggie of suspected cocaine in this individual’s pants pocket.  Officer Fonseca also noticed the driver was trying to swallow additional contraband.  Officer G. Lewis assisted in trying to recover the contraband, to no avail.  Once it was determined that Hernandez had swallowed controlled substances, he was taken to Doctor’s Hospital for examination and treatment.  While at the Hospital, the suspect attempted to conceal a baggie containing several pieces of cocaine underneath the gurney.  After receiving medical clearance, the suspect was booked at the Richmond Jail.

Monday, August 25, 2008, 11:47 p.m., 19th St. and Barrett Ave.--The victim arrived at BART from San Francisco after spending the day job hunting.  While walking home, she was approached by four male suspects.  The first suspect punched the victim in her jaw, knocking her to the ground.  The second suspect kicked the victim and assisted by a third suspect, held the victim’s arms while the first suspect took her purse.  Three of the four suspects kicked and struck the victim, who continued to struggle with her assailants.  The victim then followed the suspects and called the police on her cell phone.  The responding officers spotted the suspects in the area of the 200 block of 16th Street and quickly sealed off the block.  The suspects fled over several fences, through yards and onto roofs.  RFD responded with a ladder and the suspects were spotted hiding on a roof.  One suspect, a 16 year-old male, was detained in the block as he tried to break the perimeter.  A second suspect was able to break through the perimeter and fled back in the direction of the BART Station.  Officer Moore received puncture injuries to his hand as he climbed over a fence in pursuit of Suspect #2.  Officer Llamas finally caught up to Suspect #2 near the BART Station and used a distraction strike to overcome resistance and arrest him.  The victim positively identified one of the suspects as the person who hit her in the jaw and took her purse and the other as the person who kicked and struck her and held her down.  The victim further provided detailed descriptions for the two other suspects involved in this incident. 

Monday, August 25, 2008, 2:25 p.m., 100 block of Carlson Blvd.--Corky Booze called to report a burglary in progress at 120 Carlson Blvd.  Two male suspects had pulled their pick-up truck into the garage and were loading the appliances into it when the officers arrived.  The suspects considered jumping from a second floor window, but then surrendered when they realized the house was surrounded.  They admitted to the burglary and are well known Sims Metal customers.  Sergeant Silva responded to the scene.

Saturday, August 23, 2008, 9:40 p.m., 1250 23rd St. (Richmond High School)--Officer Cantrell observed three males writing on the walls of Richmond High School.  As he drove closer, the males ran onto the school grounds.  Two of the suspects (15 year-old males) were discovered hiding on a stair well.  A third suspect (16 years-old) gave up after the K-9 announcement.  Nineteen different monikers were etched onto the walls.  School Security estimated the damage at $1,000.  The suspects were processed through City Jail before being released to their parents.

Friday, August 22, 2008, 2:00 p.m., 2800 block of Carlson Blvd.--Officer Loucas arrived in the 2800 block of Carlson Blvd. on the report of subjects disassembling vehicles and parking them in the neighborhood.  The reporting person said the subjects were changing license plates around on different vehicles. They further indicated that one of the vehicles belonging to the subjects was parked in the 5800 block of Van Fleet Ave.  Upon arrival, Officer Loucas located a stolen vehicle at this location.

            As Officer Loucas approached a residence in the 2800 block of Carlson Blvd. he noticed several vehicle parts along the north side of the garage.  Officer Loucas made contact with the suspect and found a set of keys in his possession which fit the stolen vehicle on Van Fleet Ave.  The suspect was arrested for vehicle theft. Based on the numerous vehicles in the area and vehicle parts on the property, it was determined that this address could be a possible Chop Shop for stolen vehicles.  Lieutenant Pickett was notified. Sgt. Silva and Detective Vegas arrived for further investigation and a possible search warrant.

Thursday, August 21, 2008, 6:15 p.m., 6th St. and Ripley Ave.--Officer Moody attempted to detain a suspicious individual in the area of 6th Street and Ripley Avenue.  Specifically, the individual was walking and attempting to hide an object by holding it against his side.  The  male suspect ran as Officer Moody approached.  The officer engaged him in foot pursuit.  The suspect dropped a sawed-off shotgun as he ran.  Officer Moody overtook the suspect, and took him into custody.  The weapon was described as “double-barreled with pistol grip.”

Thursday, August 21, 2008, 9:45 p.m., W. Macdonald Ave. and Curry St.--Officer Matt Anderson conducted a routine traffic stop of a vehicle at the above location.  The 20 year-old driver was unlicensed and subsequently taken into custody for Driving without Insurance.  Officer Anderson searched him incident to arrest and discovered seven Ecstasy pills in his front pocket.  Officer Anderson then contacted the 25 year-old passenger and learned that she was the registered owner of the vehicle.  She told the officer that she had placed a loaded pistol (Taurus 9mm) under the passenger seat.  That weapon was recovered, and she was taken into custody.

Improved Service at RPD Front Desk for Non-English Speaking Residents:   In order to better serve the non-English speaking public who come to the front desk at RPD, we now have the “Language Line Translation Service” in the department’s Records Unit.  There are two cordless phones at the front desk.  One is to be used by department personnel and the other by the person needing translation.  Records personnel simply press “Talk” on the handset and give it to the person needing assistance to listen to.  The interpreter is then told the nature of the help needed (i.e., a stolen vehicle report needs to be taken) and the matter is taken care of.  (In addition to this service, there are often Spanish-speaking RPD personnel available within the department’s Records Unit or Spanish-speaking officers can be called in to assist with interpreting.)

Prostitution complaints follow-up and arrests:  In response to neighborhood complaints about prostitution activity in the area of Ohio and 6th St. as well as along 23rd St. near Roosevelt, Officer Bill Cantrell put together an “Ops Order” to deal with these problems last week.  With the assistance of WestNET (the West County Narcotics Enforcement Team that RPD is part of), ten arrests were made:  6 from the south side and 4 from along 23rd St. 

Traffic Safety Checkpoint:  On Monday, August 25th, RPD’s Traffic Unit conducted a Traffic Safety Checkpoint for 2½ hours on 23rd St. at Downer.  All guidelines specified by applicable state and federal courts were followed.  The purpose of the checkpoints is to deter driving without a license or on a suspended/revoked license, as well as to assure vehicles on Richmond streets are properly registered and insured.  It is worth noting that two recent hit and run accidents resulting in injuries to Richmond City employees (one of our motorcycle officers and a Public Works employee) both are believed to involve unlicensed drivers.  While going through the checkpoint, motorists are also provided with educational information (in both English and Spanish) regarding the “rules of the road” and how to properly obtain a license. 

·         1,072 cars passed through the checkpoint—many others intentionally avoided it.

·         18 automobiles were impounded (as always, exceptions are made under special circumstances for humanitarian reasons)

·         25 enforcement stops were conducted for California Vehicle Code violations and 25 traffic citations were issued.

·         One arrest was made for an outstanding $0.00 bail warrant.


RPD works with San Pablo Avenue Businesses:  On Monday, August 25, 2008, RPD Crime Prevention Specialist Michelle Milam and Beat 7 Sgt. Lori Curran met with a group of San Pablo Avenue Merchants interested in starting a San Pablo Avenue Merchant’s Association which will include a “Business Watch.”  RPD personnel spoke at length with the business owners about the recent robberies on San Pablo Avenue and what they could do to protect themselves.  Some of the other issues discussed included: 


·         Loitering – Many of the business owners are worried about habitual loiterers that hang out in our around parking lots, and alleys

·         Security – There is an interest in getting CEPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Training) set up for businesses and to have RPD review security systems

·         Robberies – What to do in the event of a robbery as well as crime prevention techniques

·         Supporting a growing business community and developing an active business association

·         Hotels and gas stations that are frequent targets of loitering activity

·         PD response time and contacting Dispatch

·         How to file a Letter of Trespass


The next meeting will be October 22nd 11:00 a.m. at a location to be announced.