Bay Area residents and law enforcement agencies are battling mobile crews of package thieves picking off parcels almost as quickly as they arrive on the addressee’s doorstep.
One such crew demonstrated how easy it is to make off with the property of others in Lafayette on New Year’s Eve – but paid a price when they returned for an apparent repeat performance Saturday morning.
From Chief Eric Christensen and the folks at LPD:
On Sunday, 12/31/17, LPD Officers were dispatched to a home in the 700 Block of Solana Drive for a theft. A resident reported that several boxes had been stolen from the driveway of his home earlier in the morning. LPD Officers responded to the home and met with the homeowner.
The homeowner had ordered several cases of materials from Costco and Amazon for his business. When the items arrived at the home, the boxes were left stacked against the garage door and the front door of the home. When the resident awoke on 12/31/17, he noticed that some of the boxes had been removed from the two stacks.
Fortunately, the home is equipped with a home camera system. The homeowner installed the system with one camera showing the driveway and the street in front of the home. Two additional cameras were installed covering the front areas of the home. The cameras were working and recording at the time of the theft.
The resident reviewed the footage from the security cameras and found a vehicle pull up in front of his home at 7:13 a.m. Two suspects exited the vehicle and immediately walked towards the stacked boxes at the garage door. The two suspects grabbed boxes and walked them to their waiting vehicle, where they loaded them inside. One of the suspects then walked to the front door of the home and collected additional packages that were stacked there. After finishing loading the boxes, the suspects left the neighborhood.
Because of the video provided by the homeowner, our LPD Investigators had a description of the suspect vehicle and the date and time of the crime. With that information, they began to review the neighborhood cameras near the home. Investigators were able to locate an image of the suspect vehicle as it departed the City and were able to identify the license plate of the vehicle (CA – 4YNL141). Investigators were also able to locate images of the vehicle as it entered the City.
LPD Investigators then researched the ownership of the vehicle, finding the owner of the vehicle to be one of the suspects involved in the theft. LPD Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect and placed a BOLO out on the vehicle. LPD Investigators then visited a variety of addresses in the East Bay associated with the vehicle and its owner. They had been unable to locate either the vehicle or the suspect.
Early this morning (Saturday, 4:53 a.m.), LPD Officers were alerted by one of our Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) that the suspect vehicle had returned to the City. LPD and Orinda Officers began to search the neighborhoods for the suspect vehicle. A short time later, one of our LPD Officers located the vehicle on Moraga Boulevard at Victoria.
Officers stopped the vehicle and detained two individuals from inside the vehicle. The two that were found in the vehicle were the same two who had been seen in the surveillance video from the home. Both suspects were found to have warrants for their arrest and were placed under arrest. The vehicle was towed to LPD Storage and will be searched by our Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs). The suspects were processed at the station and then booked into the jail in Martinez.
The suspects were interviewed by our LPD Investigators at the jail. Although both denied the reasons they were in the City this early in the morning, it is clear to investigators that they had returned to commit additional thefts. LPD Investigators are confident they have the correct individuals in custody. Investigators are now working to retrieve the stolen property.
LPD Needs YOU!
Now that we know who the crooks are and we also know what property was stolen, we need some help from our residents who are internet-sales savvy. LPD Investigators believe the suspects were likely selling the various items of property they stole on an internet classified site. LPD Investigators are asking internet-sales savvy residents to help us locate ads that may have been posted by these two suspects. Here’s what we know:
Suspect 1: BODMER, JOHN, 40 yrs., San Lorenzo
Suspect 2: JOHNSON, DAVID, 48 yrs., Alameda
Property Stolen: GHD Air Professional Performance Hairdryer (30 Stolen);
Weatherproof Men’s Outdoor Sock 4-pack-Brown/Olive (90 Pairs Stolen)
If you find something, please forward it to our tip line at 94549Tip@gmail,com
Investigation. With both suspects identified and their vehicle in custody, the last job is to find the property the suspects stole. Investigators will be searching sales sites and other locations for the property.
Prevention. Packages and mail need to be brought inside every day. When these items are left out in plain view, they become targets for thieves who drive through our neighborhoods in the early morning. In this case, the resident had installed surveillance cameras to cover the front of his home and most importantly the street in front of his home. The resident provided these images to investigators in a timely manner – making it likely that we would be able to solve the case. These crooks were stopped from victimizing someone else because of the cameras installed by the resident.