The Blotter | Reports of marking streets tied to thefts

Thieves might be pointing to target vehicles

The Piedmont Police Department had multiple reports recently of street markings prior to attempted catalytic converter thefts.

The city had three such calls in 30 hours over the night of Nov. 21 to the early morning hours of Nov. 23.

The first call came in at 9:22 p.m. on Oakland Avenue. The reporting person said she believed her catalytic converter had been stolen and that there were marks on the ground near her vehicle. The police log notes that an officer confirmed the ground was marked.

On Nov. 23 at 2:32 a.m., a catalytic converter theft was reported to be in progress at Crofton Avenue. The log reports a white Dodge Charger leaving the scene. The targeted vehicle was described as “marked with white chalk similar to yesterday’s cat thefts” in the police log.

Another call came in the same morning at 2:43 a.m., again with white chalk marks on the ground near the vehicle, this time with a potential license plate tampered with, according to the log.

Piedmont Police Capt. Chris Monahan said it was possible suspects are coordinating the chalk marks on the street with others who come by later and attempt theft.

“This is the first time we have seen or heard about this,” Monahan said. “Checking with our other (law enforcement) partners, but nothing coming up.”

At 4:36 a.m. on Nov. 27, a 2013 Nissan Sentra was pulled over for an expired registration, according to Monahan. The driver was found to be on probation for burglary and evading with “full search terms.” A passenger was found clear of any warrants but alerted officers that a gun was in the car that belonged to her.

The vehicle was searched and a loaded Ruger handgun was found in a false compartment under the steering wheel along with glass pipes. Per Monahan, the driver had “constructive possession” of the handgun. Both were taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. The driver was booked for possession, felon in possession of a firearm, probation violations and possession of paraphernalia. The passenger was booked for firearm possession and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

A Piedmont police vehicle was hit by a vehicle attempting to flee after an attempted traffic stop at 1:34 a.m. on Nov. 25. A black sedan was observed failing to yield near the intersection of Pleasant Valley Avenue and Montgomery Street, according to Monahan. The officer did not pursue, but when he attempted to make a U-turn, the suspect vehicle “veered into his lane” and collided with the police car.

A suspect described in the police log as a Hispanic female, 5-foot-8 with black hair, fled the vehicle and ran north on Pleasant Valley before getting into a white sedan, which fled the scene towards Broadway. The first vehicle was still in motion, according to Monahan, and hit a parked car on Pleasant Valley before coming to a stop. The suspects were not found and the first vehicle was towed.

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