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A Message From A Player On The Receiving End Of Prop 47; And A Cyclist Gets His Bike Back

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Much has been said here and elsewhere about the apparent ripple effect of legislation reducing some crimes from felonies to misdemeanors – and the impact that move would have on the local criminal element.

After a recent arrest mentioned first on our Facebook Page and fleshed out by Lafayette police Friday, we were able to get a firsthand look at how some of those folks viewed Prop 47, how prolific they are at their work, and who exactly is picking up the tab.

As we first reported March 13, Lafayette police officers were dispatched to the 3200 block of Mt. Diablo Blvd. in response to the reported theft of a bicycle. Officers determined that an employee’s bicycle had been taken and a review of security footage turned up evidence of a man leaving a bike rack with the victim’s bike, along with an image of the car the thief had used in the crime.

Employees told police the man on the videotape was the same man who burglarized a customer’s vehicle several months earlier – making off with a set of golf clubs at that time.  They were able to obtain a partial license plate number of the car used in that crime and were able to verify the make and model of the vehicle – information they provided to investigators.

Co-workers of the employee who had lost their bicycle immediately went to work monitoring internet classified ad sites in an attempt to locate it and, on Tuesday, March 14, were able to find the bike for sale on an internet site. Police were notified, the “seller” was contacted by detectives and informed the caller was interested in buying the bike if it was still for sale. The seller agreed to meet the “buyer” at a nearby BART Station the following day.

On Thursday, March 15, LPD investigators obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect, met with members of the Sheriff’s Investigation and Patrol Divisions (as the transaction was to take place in their jurisdictional area) and travelled to the station to await the suspect’s arrival. Police said the suspect, later identified as Diamein Hayter, 40, of Antioch, arrived at the station, accompanied by a juvenile.

Police said that as investigators watched the suspect removed the bicycle from the vehicle and directed the juvenile to ride the bike to the lower parking lot of the station to meet the buyer.  The suspect then walked into the BART Station and entered the station – while watching the juvenile ride the bike to the parking lot.  When the juvenile and bicycle were detained by investigators, the suspect moved to the train platform to board a waiting train – only to be detained by plainclothes Sheriff’s Investigators.

Hayter and the juvenile were both transported to LPD, according to police, where they were interviewed. The vehicle the pair arrived in was towed to LPD Storage. The juvenile was released to his parents and the suspect who had originally stolen the bicycle was transported and booked at the Martinez Detention Facility, where he remains in custody. Investigators are meeting with representatives from the District Attorney’s Office to file charges on the suspect today, Friday. The bicycle was returned to its owner.

Detectives said they were able to break this case and possibly the prior theft “because of the efforts of the co-workers,” and that they now have two solid cases to file.

Mr. Hayter’s position on the subject of his arrest and perhaps crime in general was perhaps best expressed by a post he left on his Facebook page during a previous arrest in 2014.

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t understand why a juvenile is hanging out with a 40-year-old man. It’s clearly not his child since the article says the juvenile was released to his parents.

    And, what a charming fellow. When he realizes the juvenile is being arrested, he attempts to abandon him by skipping out on another train.

  2. I’m not sure what the point of this article is. Bummer that someone’s bike got stolen. Kudos to Lafayette cops for taking the time to nab a small-time crook (good to put them on notice to go elsewhere). But was the “right answer” here that the perp should have been in prison for prior crimes?

    It costs $45K/year to lock someone up in California. And, despite Prop 47, repeat offenders can be put in jail for up to a year per offense for misdemeanors. Is that not long enough for stealing a bike?

    I’m confused. I guess Hayter’s gonna hate.

  3. Morning, Chris… while obviously not the Crime of the Century, we are constantly getting inquiries from readers asking for firsthand thoughts/observations/musings from the people most involved in this process – namely the police and the alleged/suspected/misunderstood crooks themselves. We thought the suspect’s Facebook posting illustrative of their particular viewpoint regarding the law affecting their behavior. We haven’t seen that before… at least so brazenly expressed.

  4. @Tom – You noticed that, huh? Yes, we have seen loose-knit groups of folks form up, with the older, more experienced among them using the younger people as lookouts, couriers, runners… the thinking is that if they are caught they won’t get the time in jail an older, more experienced member of the crew might garner.

  5. Thank you Lafayette Police! And yes folks we need to start getting tougher on all criminals because the way it’s going now they just keep committing the crimes. Those that support continual leniency and not sending them to jail , are missing a point:
    When in jail, these criminals were given drug treatment and Rehabilitation. Now that they don’t go to jail for stealing less than $950 they continue stealing on a weekly even daily basis and keep doing the drugs. This is not helping anyone.
    And the idea that we should not send people in jail because of jail costing so much , it would not cost so much if we did not provide all the luxuries and medical treatment to these perps, and pack them up tighter, and made it much harder on them, with possibly it shorter of time. We have to make jail a place they do not want to go!!!
    Work them 6 days a week on heavy chain gang ,but cut their sentence and half. Somehow, in the last few years we’ve come up with this idea that criminals deserve all comfort, previlidges, freedoms and even dignity. They do not.

  6. “But was the “right answer” here that the perp should have been in prison for prior crimes?”

    Not necessarily. But having felony priors, with corresponding sentencing enhancements for future offenses — along with potential felony rather than misdemeanor charges for a given theft offense — would more effectively deter a certain number of future offenses, for would-be crooks with a modicum of future time orientation. Not so much anymore.

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