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Your RPD at Work

From: Chris Magnus [mailto:cmagnus@richmondpd.net]

Dear Council Members, City Manager, and Others:

October has been a particularly difficult month for the Police Department, especially with the recent tragic death of Officer Brad Moody.  We appreciate all the support you and many others have extended to us--as well as to the Moody family.

Despite the challenges of the past month, a great deal of exceptional work continues to be done by many members of the department.  I’m sorry that I can only detail a small amount of our recent crime reduction and neighborhood problem-solving efforts in the space below, but I think you’ll agree, the work that’s been done is impressive.

As always, if you have any questions or would like additional information, please let me know.

Chief Chris Magnus

Wed., Oct. 29, 2008, 10:00 a.m., 2nd Street at Barrett Ave.--Officers Contreras and Walle stopped a car at 2nd Street and Barrett Avenue for a mechanical violation.  When Officer Contreras contacted the 33 year-old driver, he smelled marijuana and learned the driver had no license.  The driver physically resisted Officer Contreras and fled S/B on 2nd Street, W/B on Nevin Avenue, S/B on 1st Street, and W/B on Macdonald Ave.  The suspect discarded 28.5 grams of base cocaine and 16 grams of marijuana during his flight.  Officer Vinson caught the suspect at 3rd Street and Macdonald Avenue.  Officer Contreras suffered a hand injury on the detail.

Wed., Oct. 29, 2008, 4:15 p.m., 15th Street and Pennsylvania Ave.--Officers Llamas and Lopez were dispatched to loiterers at 15th St. and Pennsylvania Ave.  As they arrived, one 18 year-old suspect began to flee, holding his waistband.  He fled into the block and patrol officers quickly surrounded the area.  The suspect was detained several backyards away.  A stolen .40 cal. Springfield pistol was located along the suspect’s flight path.  The case can be filed on the suspect because Officer Llamas got the suspect to confess to possession of the stolen gun after reading him his Miranda rights.

Wed., Oct. 29, 2008, Concord--Area law enforcement personnel have been seeking a 38 year-old El Cerrito man wanted in connection with a Ramey warrant for the felony crimes of performing lewd acts on children in Richmond.  The suspect was taken into custody in Concord on Wed. after RPD Records Specialist Michelle Arriaga convinced him (over the phone) that she was the mother of a 4 year old girl who needed an emergency babysitter.  Michelle was able to obtain the suspect’s exact address from him and then assisted RPD detectives and five DOJ Agents in getting him to come out of a large apartment complex on the ruse of him helping her carry her child’s belongings to the apartment where he was staying.  The suspect was arrested as he emerged from the gated apartment complex.  GREAT JOB MICHELLE!!!


Tues., Oct. 28, 2008, 8:00 p.m., 28th St and Garvin St.--Detective Tong and Officer O. Johnson initiated a traffic stop that resulted in the confiscation of a large amount of MDMA drugs, most commonly known as Ecstasy.  There were 4,443 tablets of Ecstasy confiscated along with three full sandwich bags of marijuana.  The estimated value of the ecstasy is $18,000, however, the tablets can be sold anywhere between $10-$20 each.  Although the primary suspect fled the scene, Detective Tong was able to positively identify him.  The case is still under investigation, however, when completed, efforts will be made to have the suspect charged federally.


Tues., Oct. 28, 2008, 9:00 a.m., 2700 block of McBryde Ave.—An anonymous neighbor called 911 to report two juveniles entering a neighbor’s backyard.  Officer Gary Lewis arrived to hear glass breakage inside the residence.  Officers set up a perimeter as the suspects fled out the back door and began jumping fences.  Sgt. Jenkins saw one of the suspects armed with a semi-auto pistol, which the suspect discarded.  Both suspects were detained by patrol officers and Officer Simmons found a loaded pistol.  The suspects were taken to Juvenile Hall for Burglary, Conspiracy, and Possession of a Firearm.


Tues., Oct. 28, 2008—GRANT APPROVAL NOTIFICATION:    The Police Department received notification from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services that RPD’s 2009 Family Services Unit Enhancement Grant for $146,000 was approved.  This grant represents a partnership between S.T.A.N.D. Against Domestic Violence, Community Violence Solutions, and the Richmond Police Department. The grant will facilitate two full-time domestic violence victims’ advocates to be stationed at our police department starting in January 2009.   Sgt. Brian Dickerson of RPD’s Investigative Services Division played a key role in obtaining this grant.


Tues., Oct. 28, 2008, 12:40 a.m., 1900 block of Gaynor Ave.--Officer Llamas was preparing to conduct a traffic enforcement stop of a suspicious vehicle on the 1900 block of Gaynor when the driver pulled to the curb, exited his vehicle and went into a residence before Officer Llamas could position his patrol vehicle.  The 19 year-old driver returned to the car after Officer Llamas initially cleared the area.   Officer Llamas made consensual contact with the driver and developed probable cause to search his vehicle, based on the odor of marijuana and suspect statements.  Officer Llamas recovered a loaded, .38 Charter Arms revolver reported stolen out of Tracy, as well as marijuana.

Mon., Oct. 27, 2008, 10:15 a.m., Economy Inn, San Pablo Ave.—The 38 year-old suspect, believed to be high on meth, broke into room #139 and began assaulting a man and woman who had rented the room.  Fearing for her life, the female jumped through a double-paned window and severely cut her arms and stomach.  She flagged down a passing AMR ambulance as the suspect committed a car-jacking in the parking lot.  Officer Nunley, who was just arriving on-scene, began pursuing the suspect N/B on San Pablo Ave.  They then drove E/B on San Pablo Dam Rd.  The suspect crashed into the rear of a Mercedes with three passengers.  The rear passenger was killed instantly and the other two passengers were critically injured.  The suspect fled across San Pablo Dam Rd. and was taken into custody by Officers Nunley and Hugel.  The officer-involved protocol was invoked and CHP wrote the collision report.  Contra Costa D.A.s responded to the scene to conduct a parallel investigation.  The suspect made a full confession, post Miranda.  He had been released from San Quentin Prison on Thursday, 23 October 2008.  (Note:  As of 10/29, this suspect will face Felony Murder charges.) 

Sun., Oct. 26, 2008, 2:45 a.m., S. 19th Street and Potrero Ave.--Officer Riley responded to the area on the report of several males drinking and making noise.  Upon his arrival, he approached the individuals and observed one of them walked away.  That individual was holding his hands beneath his sweatshirt and walking quickly.  The individual turned around a corner, but was illuminated by Riley’s flashlight.  Officer Riley also heard a metal object hit the pavement.  He ordered the subject to show his hands and lie on the ground.  The suspect refused to comply, resulted in Officer Riley deployment of his Taser.  Officer Riley then approached and located a handgun on the other side of the fence that was adjacent to the suspect.  The Colt 9mm was fully loaded.  The suspect was taken into custody and charged with multiple offenses.

Weekend of Oct. 25th—Belding Woods Neighborhood—RPD personnel in conjunction with the department’s youth Explorers conducted a major neighborhood walk effort this past weekend in the Central District.  Department personnel Janeare Ashley and Michelle Milam organized the door-to-door distribution of robbery prevention literature printed in both Spanish and English in the Beat 4 (Belding-Woods) neighborhood, focusing on an approximately 20 square block area where street robberies have occurred recently.  They also distributed flyers in a more concentrated area of Beat 6 around New St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 108 – 17th Street, pastored by Reverend David Bernstine, with the help of about 25 of his parishioners.  The overall effort was supervised by Sgt. Darren Monahan under the leadership of Lt. Manjit Sappal and also included Officers Danny Harris, Ray Thomas, Jeff Tyner, Frank Muratore, as well as approximately 17 Explorers.  About 1,600 flyers were disseminated.

This weekend’s effort aims prevention efforts at the “victim variable” of the crime equation, consistent with the Central District strategies put into place in September by Captain Alwyn Brown.  Street robberies are a serious and persistent crime problem in the Central District and they are being carried out by a wide assortment of assailants.  The crimes are accomplished with physical force (strong-arm), and in many instances with the threat of violence implied from the display of a firearm or other deadly weapon.  Latinos, many of whom speak limited English, comprise a significant percentage of the victim population.  The department continues to be concerned that these crimes are significantly under-reported. 

Street robberies are a highly opportunistic crime and in most every instance are carried out with considerable violence.  The predatory criminals committing these crimes tend to be serial offenders.   For these reasons, robbery intervention is a Central District priority.  Intervention strategies include:  1) Focusing on offenders through parole and probation compliance checks; 2) Focusing on locations of occurrence with stealth patrols in order to spot would-be robbers who show predatory behaviors, or who are in the commission of, or about to commit a street robbery and make arrests as appropriate; 3) Conducting information outreach through neighborhood councils, including Spanish-speaking community outreach. 

Sgt. Darren Monahan is leading the robbery intervention effort for the District, and he is responsible for coordinating and supervising combined efforts to carry out Strategies 1 and 2 above.  

Explorers assist with robbery prevention education efforts

This past weekend.


Feedback from a Southside resident:  The following e-mail was received from a resident this past week who lives in the area of Maine and 22nd St. in response to recent, ongoing efforts to reduce street crime in this neighborhood by Southern District personnel working a concentrated crime problem-solving detail:

Hello Sergeant Wang and Captain McBride,

Your strategic efforts have definitely been noticed!  I would like to thank
you as well as Captain McBride for the police departments prompt response
and enforcement in my neighborhood on South 22nd Street.  My husband and I
have definitely noticed a significant, immediate change on our street and
are overjoyed at the results!  The house on the corner of South 22nd and
Maine Streets has had less traffic as well as the tan apartments across the
street.  We have been feeling ALOT safer coming in at night
with our small children during that past few weeks also, and for this we
are immensely grateful to the Richmond PD!   I have a renewed faith in our
justice system and as a citizen of Richmond I will always support you in
anyway I can to help make our streets a safer place.  Thank you so much for
taking the time to keep me informed and updated of your strategies and
outcomes!  I will continue to keep in contact with Sergeant Wang  of any
further activity on our street.  Please continue this task force.  It is
DEFINETLY an effective force and South 22nd street has definitely benefited
from this deployment.  Your work is greatly appreciated!
Thank You Again,
(name redacted for privacy reasons)

Tues., Oct. 21, 2008, 8:30 p.m., Collins Ave. and Morton Dr.—Officer Vaca responded to a call from an anonymous resident about 3-4 individuals who were dumping trash out of a U-Haul truck in the street at Collins and Morton.  This area has been plagued over a considerable period of time by illegal dumping due to its proximity to the RR tracks and poor lighting.  When Officer Vaca arrived, he discovered numerous junked household items, including 4 mattresses, headboards, a couch, a nightstand, a busted up dresser, a broken vacuum cleaner, a child’s car seat, and more in the street.  As a result of his timely response, he was able to stop a large U-Haul truck in the immediate proximity of the dumping area that was occupied by three females.

            Despite the initial lack of cooperation by the U-Haul occupants, Vaca was ultimately able to secure a confession from one of the suspects after reading her Miranda rights.  His thorough investigation further made it possible for the City Attorney to file Illegal Dumping charges against the individuals involved in this incident.


Hiring Update:  The department is sending 6 new recruits to Police Academies that start within the next month.  Two lateral officers (officers who have already completed their Academy training) have also accepted job offers and will be starting with the department next month.  Several of these new officers are bilingual.