The Blotter | Car fire in Piedmont is targeted arson; suspect detained

Vehicle burned in early morning hours

Piedmont police and fire responded to a car on fire early in the morning of Oct. 5. An investigation of video footage “confirmed it was arson,” according to Piedmont Police Capt. Chris Monahan.

The report came in at 3:30 a.m. of a car on fire on Crocker Avenue. Police and fire department responders found a Mazda CX5 burning. The fire was extinguished. Video and Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) data together helped to identify a suspect vehicle. Several days later on Oct. 9, the same vehicle was detected again entering the city. The vehicle was then pulled over and a suspect detained.

“Detectives learned that the suspect had an association to the victim and the arson was targeted,” Monahan said.

(Photos from PPD Facebook)

On Oct. 7, a silver Mercedes C230 suspected to be involved in prior attempted catalytic converter thefts was found driving in the city. The driver fled the scene and officers searched the abandoned vehicle at Sunnyhills Road and Downey Place and found a loaded handgun inside.

Reports had come in on Oct. 4 and 6 that the vehicle was involved in the attempted thefts.

A stolen black 2014 Kia Rio stolen in Alameda was recovered in Piedmont on Oct. 1. The vehicle had set off the ALPR system at Oakland and Olive avenues. The vehicle was abandoned on Grand Avenue in Oakland and was returned to its registered owner. The crime log said a witness reported three suspects heading north past the Safeway supermarket on Grand Avenue.

A burglary was reported at the school campus on Magnolia Avenue at 9:37 p.m. on Oct. 3. A male suspect was trying to follow the janitor into one of the buildings, according to the report. The suspect left the campus and walked across the street to the park.

Police encountered the suspect at 9:50 p.m.. According to Monahan, “suspect fled and fought with police upon contact. Upon being tased, he complied and was arrested for burglary, assault on an officer, and resisting arrest.”

On Oct. 3 or 4, an unknown suspect or suspects accessed a secured sectional garage on Highland Avenue, according to Monahan. The crime happened overnight and was reported at 8:40 a.m. on Oct. 4. The suspect reportedly stole two E-bikes and a battery pack. The items are valued at over $11,000.

The ALPR system reported a hit on Oct. 4 on a stolen black Mercedes Benz coupe at 10:24 a.m. at Grand and Wildwood avenues. The vehicle was located on Lakeshore Avenue with the passenger out of the vehicle, “breaking into parked vehicles,” according to the crime log. Officers attempted to stop the car but the passenger jumped back in and the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed.

On Oct. 5, a silver Dodge Ram 3500 was found to have been involved in an accident with a parked car at Oakland and Jerome avenues at 2:32 a.m. Officers determined the driver showed signs of intoxication, according to Monahan. He admitted to being involved in the accident. He was arrested for DUI and taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin.

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