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  RPD Activities Update
March 21, 2011


Here is a small sample of some of the recent incidents and activities involving RPD personnel.  As you can see, there are few matters that are not complex, dangerous, or challenging in one way or another.  We continue to benefit from good observations by community members that help us do our job more effectively.  Please contact me if you have any questions.


Chief Chris Magnus

Sunday, March 20, 2011, 5:40 p.m., 2500 Hilltop Mall Rd.--Officers responded to the Mall to take custody of a shoplifter that had been arrested by Macy’s loss prevention personnel.  When officers arrived, they learned that a 31 year-old female had stolen items from JC Penney earlier in the day and was released with a citation.  This suspect then returned to the mall and went to Macy’s, where loss prevention personnel observed her use a tool to remove the security devices from clothing--then hide the clothing on her person.  Officers took custody of the suspect and transported her to the Richmond City Jail.  In the pre-booking area at the Jail, she was found to be in possession of numerous pills and a large amount of cash.  The suspect exhibited signs of being “under the influence,” so she was transported to the County Hospital to be cleared for incarceration.  Officer Wilson conducted the preliminary investigation. Officer Tim Simmons aided with the “Possession for Sale of a Schedule 4 Narcotic” investigation.

Sunday, March 20, 2011, 4:10 p.m., 600 block of 15th St.--Officer Bailey and Officer Brown were dispatched on a report of a stabbing.  Investigation revealed that a robbery had just occurred.  The victim, a pushcart vendor, was not injured.  The officers located and detained a 38 year-old male suspect.  This suspect was later booked for Armed Robbery and for a parole hold. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011, 4:40 a.m., Marina Way/Macdonald Ave.--Officers Jensen and Bell were traveling west on Macdonald Ave. in the area of Harbour Way when they were flagged down by 61 year-old homeless victim, who was bleeding from the neck.  The victim reported he was assaulted by a subject who was still in the area.  A 17 year-old juvenile suspect was detained a short distance away.  An investigation revealed the suspect approached the homeless victim with casual conversation and then stabbed him in the neck with a kitchen knife for no apparent reason.  A broken knife handle was located at the scene.  The suspect had a matching kitchen knife in his possession when he was taken into custody.  The victim was transported to John Muir Hospital in stable condition.  The suspect was transported to Juvenile Hall.

Officer crashes, dies during Palm Springs chase--The Associated Press (This officer was a former RPD Explorer), Published Saturday, Mar. 19, 2011
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- A police officer and former Marine chasing a parolee in a stolen car lost control of his police cruiser, hit a palm tree and was killed, authorities said Saturday.
The squad car of Officer Jermaine Gibson, 29, burst into flames after crashing near a car dealership as he chased the Ford Mustang Coupe, said Lt. Chuck Robinson of the Cathedral City Police Department, where Gibson had been an officer for 18 months.
Two other officers who had joined Gibson in the chase pulled him from the wreckage, but he was declared dead at the scene shortly before midnight Friday, police said.
The Mustang crashed into a tree and caught fire about a half-mile down the street, police said. It had been reported stolen and one of the two men inside was a parolee.
The two were taken to Desert Regional Medical Center with what police called major injuries. Their names have not been released.
Gibson, of Beaumont, had served two tours in the Iraq War with the Marine Corps and earned a Purple Heart. He had been a law enforcement officer with different departments for three years.
"Officer Gibson's service and sacrifice will not be forgotten," California Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement Saturday. Brown ordered Capitol flags flown at half-staff in Gibson's honor.
"Officer Gibson was married within the past year, and was the proud father of a four-week-old baby boy," Cathedral City police said in a statement. "Officer Gibson will be missed by his friends and family. Godspeed."
Police and city officials were shaken at a Saturday news conference, where they announced the establishment of a memorial fund for Gibson.
"We're kind of at a loss," Robinson said. "Everyone here is hurting. Everyone is fumbling for answers."

Saturday, March 19, 2011, 11:10 a.m., 455 24th St.—Sgt. Schlemmer and several officers responded to Wilson and Kratzer Funeral Home on the report of a large fight.  The investigation revealed that the funeral was for a homicide victim that had been killed in the City of Oakland.  Several officers monitored the services and assisted at Rolling Hills.  RPD was not provided with advance notice of the service.

Saturday, March 19, 2011, 12:25 p.m., 2500 block of Treeside--Officer Parker and Sgt. Schlemmer responded to Treeside and Sunleaf Way on a report of a burglary in progress.  Officer Parker detained a juvenile at the scene.  Investigation revealed that the suspect was trying to enter a vehicle with a shaved key.  The suspect was arrested and later released to his parents.

Thursday, March 11, 2011, 201 Macdonald Ave.—Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department deputies conducted an eviction at the New Life Church.  The church members staged a “sit-in” to protest against the eviction.  CCSO deputies took the pastor and other members into custody.  Protestors reacted by surrounding the deputies, attempting to keep them from leaving with the pastor in their vehicle.  CCSO requested back-up from RPD.  An RPD sergeant and two officers were sent to “keep the peace”.  Officers removed one protestor who was sitting in front of the deputy’s vehicle and the deputies were able to leave the area.  The Sheriff’s Department did not provide any notification to RPD prior to making contact at the church.

Complimentary Feedback on Det. Jerred Tong—March 17, 2011
I am writing to thank you for the prompt and efficient service we recently received from your department.
Our company, Absolute Software, is the developer of Computrace® Lojack® for Laptops patented computer theft recovery software. We have assisted law enforcement in recovering over 11,000 stolen computers. Often, the computers are recovered with proceeds of criminal activity, including additional stolen property, counterfeit money, narcotics, weapons, evidence of identity theft, and arrests.
Our customer reported a computer theft to your department on January 25. Due to the forensic intelligence our technology provided and the investigative skills of Officer Jerred Tong, this case was successfully resolved with the recovery of the computer.
Our joint success largely depends on the cooperation and quick response time of police departments such as yours. I believe this case clearly emphasizes the success that can be achieved when such collaborative effort is applied.

Lyle Singular
VP, Recovery Services
Absolute Software

Excellent work by Officer Amit Nath (Team 1, Northern District)—Feedback from Sgt. Curran, Investigations Division:
On March 14, 2011, Officer Nath responded to a suspicious vehicle call (the vehicle was occupied) on Wiswall Drive.  During the initial contact, the vehicle occupant became verbally abusive and ignored all commands to comply.  At one point, the subject attempted to escape by placing the vehicle in “drive,” however, due to a mechanical problem, the vehicle could not leave the scene.  During this time, Dispatch advised that the vehicle was stolen.  The suspect quickly got out of the vehicle and attempted to hide behind two parked cars.  Officer Nath again commanded the suspect to stop, but all orders were ignored. The suspect turned and fled over a fence just as Officer Nath gave chase and deployed his Taser.  Despite being Tasered, the suspect successfully broke free and evaded capture.  Thanks to information provided by San Pablo PD, the suspect was identified as a 25 year-old with an extensive criminal history involving assaults on police officers.
After facilitating an extensive search for the suspect, Officer Nath conducted witness interviews and provided neighboring agencies with the officer safety intel.  He then authored a report that was clear, concise and well written.  Minimum follow up was necessary and once the suspect is apprehended, criminal charges will likely be forthcoming.
New officers often have difficulty writing such good quality reports after being involving in highly charged incidents.  Officer Nath remained calm during this very stressful call and completed a very thorough offense report.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 1:00 p.m., 600 block of Ventura--Officers responded to a residence in the 600 block of Ventura on the report of two suspicious juveniles entering the backyard of a residence.  The reporting person was a neighbor who provided Dispatch with descriptions of the suspects.  Upon arrival, officers noticed that a window had been smashed.  One of the suspects tried to flee from the residence and was taken into custody.  The other suspect was located inside of the residence and was also taken into custody. 
                At the same time this detail was dispatched, Officer Colbacchini was around the corner in the 600 block of Humboldt taking a report of a burglary.  The suspects arrested on Ventura had property on them from the Humboldt burglary.  A 15 and 16 year-old suspect were booked into Juvenile Hall.  Both were on probation for prior burglaries.