The Blotter | ‘Reckless’ driver in stolen car arrested

Police say suspect was under influence

A man was arrested after initially refusing to stop for police in Piedmont on June 16. It turned out the vehicle he was driving was stolen and police established that the driver was “under the influence of a controlled substance,” according to Piedmont Police Capt. Chris Monahan.

Police first attempted to stop the vehicle at Estates Drive and Park Boulevard at 11:27 p.m. for an “equipment violation,” according to Monahan.

But the vehicle didn’t stop and instead took off, driving recklessly. According to the police log, the driver was driving up to 40 mph on city streets.

The car stopped near the intersection of Moraga and Thornhill avenues in Oakland, where police conducted a “high risk” stop with guns drawn.

Monahan said the car was an unreported stolen vehicle from Oakland and that contraband was discovered inside.

The driver was taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and the vehicle was returned to its registered owner.

On June 18, the city’s Automated License Plate Reader system recorded a hit on a stolen license plate on a 2015 light colored Hyundai Santa Fe near Boulevard Way and Warfield Avenue at 3:26 p.m. Piedmont police found the vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Safeway supermarket on Grand Avenue. Officers asked the store manager for surveillance video and, while waiting, saw a male walking toward the vehicle, according to Monahan. A records check found the person had multiple warrants: two in Alameda County for burglary and possession of stolen property, one in San Leandro for burglary, and one in Pleasanton for petty theft.

According to Monahan, the surveillance footage show the suspect parking the vehicle and entering the store.

A search of the vehicle found 1.68 grams of suspected methamphetamine and approximately 60 pieces of suspected stolen mail, and a suspected makeshift mailbox key, according to Monahan.

The man was taken to San Leandro Jail and booked for possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine, and the four warrants. It was later determined that he had multiple other warrants in Burlingame, South San Francisco, and San Joaquin County.

Credit: Piedmont Exedra

A two-car accident at Wildwood and Highland avenues on June 16 left both drivers with minor injuries. The accident was reported at 2:55 p.m.

A driver going west on Wildwood Avenue said he couldn’t slow his vehicle down and ran through the stop sign. The second vehicle was traveling south on Highland Avenue and was slowing to make a stop. The first vehicle hit the driver’s side engine bay of the second vehicle. Monahan said it appeared the first vehicle’s brakes had failed. “Both drivers complained of minor injuries,” he said. They were taken to Highland Hospital.

A driver was stopped for going the wrong way on an Interstate Highway 580 on-ramp and was arrested for DUI. He was also found to have a warrant for a “sex crime” and burglary, according to Monahan.

The incident happened at 2:16 a.m. on June 15. The driver of a four-door Honda was stopped. After taking field sobriety tests, the driver blew a 0.15 percent blood alcohol content on a breathalyzer. It was then determined he had the warrants from Oakland. He was arrested and taken to Santa Rita Jail and the vehicle was towed.

A man was arrested on June 14 after being stopped for “vehicle code violations,” according to Monahan. He was pulled over at 7:39 p.m. on Pleasant Valley Avenue. The check determined he had a warrant in Napa County for burglary and a warrant in Marin County for driving with a suspended license. The driver was taken to Santa Rita Jail and his vehicle was towed for an expired registration.

On June 17, at 8:57 a.m., a man was seen at a corner on Grand Avenue standing and “staring off into nowhere,” according to the police log. He was then reported to be dancing on the corner. Officers contacted the man and a records check revealed he had a warrant for burglary in Contra Costa County. He was checked medically and then taken to Santa Rita Jail.

The San Francisco Chronicle and the Berkeley Scanner have reported on two East Bay bike-jackings that have targeted cyclists on Redwood Road and Skyline Boulevard in recent weeks. Piedmonter Hussein Saffouri was one of the targets; he details his experience being tracked by a black Mercedes and then being held up at gunpoint by two men with guns and ski masks on Redwood Road last week. According to the Chronicle report, the suspects took the money pouch that held Saffouri’s cash, keys and driver’s license, and grabbed his bicycle. Even with a tracking device, police have not been able to recover it.

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