Police bulletin: Reward offered for information on 'Baggy Pants Bandits'

Rollover crash, unlocked vehicle thefts also among police news

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people suspected of stealing tools from home improvement stores throughout the Bay Area, including in Pleasanton.

According to Pleasanton police Detective Chris Niederhaus, the Tri-Valley theft took place at approximately 1 a.m. on Aug. 14 at the Home Depot at 6000 Johnson Drive.

Two people who police are dubbing the "Baggy Pants Bandits" allegedly pried open the store's front door and stole numerous boxed saws and power tool kits, fleeing the scene in a silver four-door sedan with a sunroof.

The tools were worth an estimated $5,000, according to Niederhaus.

Pleasanton police describe the first suspect as a white or Hispanic male between the ages of 25 and 35 years old with a shaved head and an athletic build. The second suspect is a white or Hispanic man 20 to 30 years old with dark hair and a thin build.

The incident is being investigated as a part of a theft ring involving home improvement stores throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley, Niederhaus said, adding that Pleasanton detectives are working with Roseville detectives on the case. The extent of the ring is not yet known.

Anyone who can identify the suspects or who has other pertinent information about the Home Depot theft can contact the Pleasanton Police Department at 931-5100 and ask for Niederhaus.

In other police news

* Police allege a teenage boy was driving impaired when his car crashed upside-down in a Pleasanton neighborhood early Saturday.

The crash occurred shortly after midnight, when a 17-year-old driving southbound on Bernal Avenue lost control of his vehicle.

The car went off the road and crashed on its roof between the front yards of two residences in the 3400 block of Bernal, Pleasanton police Lt. Joseph Leonardo said.

The teen, who was the car's only occupant, told officers he was uninjured but he was transported to ValleyCare Medical Center as a precaution, according to Leonardo.

Alcohol was the cause of the accident, Leonardo said. Sobriety tests performed at the scene determined that the driver was impaired, and he registered a blood alcohol content of .15, according to the lieutenant.

The teen was cared for by medical staff and released to his parents on a juvenile notice to appear, Leonardo said. Police are not releasing the driver's name because of his age.

The crash damaged a fence and a sign on the private properties.

* Pleasanton police are asking for the public's help in decreasing the occurrence of a preventable crime.

Thefts from unlocked cars in the city have increased 37% year-to-date over last year, according to Pleasanton police Sgt. Larry Cox, who added that such incidents make up 60% of all reported thefts from vehicles in Pleasanton.

"A lot of these are crimes of opportunity," Cox said. "Ultimately if we were to just lock up vehicles, we'd be reducing theft from vehicles by about 60%, give or take."

The department is asking that residents lock their cars and keep items out of plain view to help reduce such thefts.

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