Police Bulletin | January 7, 2022 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Pleasanton Weekly

Community Pulse - January 7, 2022

Police Bulletin

Livermore police say porch cameras help solve crimes

The Grinch might have had a harder time absconding with all of Whoville's goodies in 2021 thanks to the prevalence of porch video surveillance equipment that local police say helps solve crimes.

Just take a look on any given day at neighborhood social site Nextdoor, where fliers advertising missing cats, dogs and the occasional turtle or chicken are interspersed with chilling video footage of strangers creeping around private properties.

Livermore Police Sgt. Steve Goard said videos posted on Nextdoor and the Ring platform are giving officers a new tool to help make the community safer.

While California doesn't allow law enforcement to use facial recognition software, police say having video showing someone at a crime scene comes in handy later, for example, if the suspect's cell phone data also places them at that location.

"We would love for them to go to court and for us to have videos of them," Goard said.

While residents sometimes feel it's a waste of time or a burden to report suspicious behavior caught on video, Goard said, he stressed that it's useful. He said Livermore detectives are assigned to crosscheck video evidence while investigating crimes, and it can help lead to arrests.

Even if a resident chooses not to report a seemingly minor crime, Ring offers a way for detectives to reach out proactively and ask to come take a report, especially if they recognize a pattern of crimes may be occurring.

He also says platforms such as Nextdoor and Ring flag one's neighbors to pay more attention to what's going on.

As far as the mindset of criminals who seem oblivious to the fact that they may be recorded red-handed, Goard said he can't imagine their motivation but said they don't seem to be intimidated.

"The lights will go on, and the camera goes on, and they continue to go on and burglarize the car," he said.

With holiday gifts just unwrapped, Goard reminds the public that writing down serial numbers of valuable electronics or tools is important and helps investigators track stolen items across state lines.

"(Video services) are absolutely making the community safer," Gourd says, adding that even if one house doesn't have a camera, odds are the one next door does.

In other news

* Livermore attorney Steven Ahlers was disbarred this month because he failed to comply with conditions of his probation in two prior disciplinary cases, according to the State Bar of California, which licenses, regulates and disciplines attorneys.

In the two disciplinary cases, Ahlers was suspended for periods of six months and two years.

Ahlers failed to provide satisfactory evidence that he completed State Bar Ethics School and failed to submit quarterly reports in a timely manner to the Office of Probation.

In 2015, Ahlers was found guilty of using a telephone or electronic communication device with the intent to annoy his domestic partner, a misdemeanor. The State Bar Court placed Ahlers on three years of probation and ordered him to complete 104 hours of counseling with a therapist.

Ahlers did not immediately respond by phone or email asking for comment on the disbarment. A call to his attorney in the 2015 case was not immediately returned.

Ahlers was admitted to the California bar in 2007.

*The California Highway Patrol is reporting a fatal crash occurred Dec. 31 on northbound Interstate Highway 680 in Sunol in Alameda County.

The crash was first reported at 4:35 a.m. just south of the Andrade Road off-ramp, according to the CHP.

* A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle on Hopyard Road near Hansen Drive at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 27.

According to the Pleasanton Police Department, the vehicle was traveling northbound on Hopyard Road when it struck the pedestrian, who was walking eastbound across Hopyard Road, outside of a crosswalk.

The pedestrian was transported to Eden Hospital with critical injuries.

The Pleasanton Police Department Traffic Unit responded to the scene and are investigating the collision. The driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation.

"It has not been determined whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision," said Traffic Sergeant Steve Ayers."Due to the ongoing investigation, the identities of the driver and pedestrian are not being released at this time."

This is the fourth incident this year in the area in which a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle. In February a pedestrian was struck and killed on Johnson Drive in Pleasanton. In June, a pedestrian was hit and killed on Dublin Boulevard in Dublin. In late August, a pedestrian walking on I-680 in San Ramon was struck and killed and a pedestrian walking on I-580 in Livermore was struck and killed in September.

Anyone with information related to the collision is encouraged to contact the Pleasanton Police Department Traffic Unit at 931-5100.

—Gina Channell Wilcox

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