A Martinez man is in custody Wednesday after he allegedly burglarized a car at a Lafayette restaurant Tuesday evening and drove home, probably not expecting the knock on his door which followed.
Officers said the incident began at 8:13 p.m. with the reported burglary, police finding that a vehicle had its window smashed and property removed while parked at a local restaurant. The investigating officer found that the restaurant had surveillance cameras to the rear of the business, and a review of that data showed a customer leaving the business and passing the vehicle that was broken into.
On the video, officers could see a person near the rear of the car – and then disappearing from view. Checking further, officers were able to obtain a credit card receipt for the customer on the video – who had left the business at the time of the burglary. Officers performed a records check on the cardholder, found that he lived in Martinez and was on parole for auto burglary.
The Lafayette officer drove to the Martinez address, where he found the vehicle that had been driven by the subject when he left the restaurant. On the passenger-side floorboard of the vehicle, the officer reportedly saw the property that had been taken during the break-in. With the assistance of Martinez police, the subject – identified as Michael Lau, 38, – was located at the home and arrested for being in possession of the stolen property and for violating his parole. Lau was booked at the Martinez Detention Facility.
Pleased, Police Chief Eric Christensen praised those involved with bringing the case to a swift resolution.
“A great job by the victim in calling the police,” Christensen said Wednesday, “by the business with having a security camera system that protected their customers and their property and by an officer who certainly took this personally and solved the case without delay. Because of the combination of all these things, today the victim was reunited with their property and the suspect sits in jail where he belongs…”