Orinda police responded to the McDonnell’s Nursery on Moraga Way Friday in response to a report of a team of local gardeners apprehending/cornering a rival crew who allegedly stole tools from their truck.
Police Chief Mark Nagel said it appears the victims found the suspects at the nursery and saw their own tools in a truck occupied by two men. Both sides reportedly confronted the other until police arrived and officers were able to take one man, 36-year-old Humberto Nieto of Richmond, into custody at 10:45 a.m.
A second man fled up the hill away from the nursery and in the direction of the Wilder fields, according to police. Officers set up a perimeter with support from Lafayette and Moraga police and began to track the man with a canine unit until weather made it impossible to follow any scent.
Chief Nagel said one of his officers spotted the man walking along Moraga Way later in the afternoon and took him into custody after a brief effort to evade police. His name was not immediately available.
Nieto was taken into custody and charged with Grand Theft and probation violation, Nagel said. He also had two outstanding warrants, according to police – one from San Francisco and one from Contra Costa County.