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Serial robbery suspect arrested after car chase

Original post made on Aug 19, 2008

California Highway Patrol arrested a man in Manteca Tuesday morning suspected in several robberies in the Bay Area and Central Valley, including Long's Drugs in the Rosewood Pavilion and the Fremont Bank inside Safeway on Santa Rita Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 5:09 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Ben
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 19, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Nice job by the PPD. It's good to see a criminal like this behind bars and not robbing innocent victims anymore!

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Aug 20, 2008 at 12:26 am

Even though the PPD is a fine department, I'm not sure they can be fully congratulated for this one. After finding the guy, they did let him escape to a freeway where he could have caused harm to others. But maybe they shouldn't feel too bad, Dublin Police also let him escape earlier.

After reading the story, just wondering why anyone would stand between an open vehicle door and the vehicle as another vehicle is barrelling down at them, especially a suspect attempting to escape. If I were in law enforcement, which I'm not, I think the only time I'd do that would be while punching holes(as many rounds as I could get off)in the other vehicle's windshield from a distance that would allow me to jump back in my vehicle if I failed to take the driver out of the gene pool. On second thought, I'd run for the back of my vehicle - I'm chicken....

Good to hear the officer is OK and the suspect was finally arrested.

Posted by Steve
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2008 at 8:32 am

Jerry, I couldn\'t agree more Jerry. In listening to the radio traffic between dispatch and the officers on the scene during the botched aprehension, it seemed a lot like the Keystone cops. One officer kept trying to tell 3 or 4 units in the area exactly where the suspect vehicle was located and it appeared that his directions might have been wrong. At one point dispatch even chimed in trying to tell the officers that the vehicle was northeast of the building, not west.

With apparently at least 3 or 4 units at the location for over 5 minutes, it appears based on the radio transmissions, that the PPD had more than enough time to box in the suspect parked in a slot facing the building BEFORE he had time to spot them and back out of the parking spot.

The suspect then was able to drive past the feeble attempt to flag down a fleeing vehicle. The police sergeant that was knocked by the door, thank goodness he wasn\'t hurt worse, was likely frustrated by the lack of action of his subordinates and took things into his own hands.

It was a very poorly executed attempt at apprehending a suspect all around. After having \"eyes on\" the vehicle, the officers seemed hesitant to take action, couldn\'t coordinate their actions, seemed to have no leadership involved and were waiting for a perimeter to be set-up, which obviously worked well since the subject made it to Manteca.

Thankfully, nobody I know of was injured in the 110 mph pursuit that followed, but it appeared to me that this should and could have been handled right here before any pursuit started. It seems some more training is needed.

Posted by Doo Doo
a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 20, 2008 at 9:35 am

You people watch to much TV! Whats a "botched aprehension" anyways... Have any of you apprehended anyone successfully?? While trying to take a suspect in custody, the officers have to take in account their own safty, as well as innocent civilians, (and the rights of the criminal.) The suspect has the privillage of not caring about those things. The police have a rule book and laws, and a chain of command. The suspect can run, shoot, jump...take hostages, whatever he sees as an opportunity. This isn't the movies people. There is no way that this 'should go'... The police are real people who get scared and have their adrenaline pumping. They have to make a choice in about a 1/2 second that the public can scrutinize for weeks. And who was the guy talking about putting a few "rounds" through the windshield? What if one of those rounds ricocheted of the hood or roof and struck a child?? HUH?
The police are underpaid and outnumbered....It sounds like this guy had nothing to loose and he made his best attempt at freedom... and the best case scenario happened... The bad guy is in jail and the officers get to go home to their families....

How about a pat on the back for the officers involved....GOOD JOB

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I was going to personally attack the responder Doo Doo, as she/he did others, but with a name like Doo Doo that pretty much says it all about him or her.

Maybe you are right Doo Doo. Maybe the police were scared, but they had a lot more than 1/2 second to make a decision to block the car and do a \"felony stop\" extraction in this instance. The car was parked in a parking space for crying out loud.

And, I really don\'t think they are underpaid if you look at how much they make and how much they get when they retire with their pension.

As far as being outnumbered, don\'t you think 5::1 is enough officers to do the job, especially with the AR15 assault rifles and shotguns they carry with them, in addition to other \"tools\" at their disposal. They knew there was only one person in the car from the beginning, based on all reports.

After apparently losing control of the situation, the officer that was almost run over obviously knew in 1/2 second or less that shooting a few rounds into the oncoming car wasn\'t going to stop the car before it hit him, even if he shot the driver, so I don\'t agree shooting the car at that point was the best option he had, even if he had time to fire his weapon.

And one more thing, I believe this SHOULD BE \"scrutinized for weeks\" by an independent investigator just to answer the question as to whether or not this was a \"botched apprehension.\" I am confident that the entire action was recorded and that would provide a clearer picture of what took place. I would welcome something like that just to settle this once and for all, with all the details brought out. Maybe there were extenuating circumstances that didn\'t come out in the news that we aren\'t aware of. Maybe they wanted him to run so they could effect capture at a less populated location.

I do believe all involved should learn what they did right and what they did wrong and what if anything they should do differently next time, and and for all I know this might have already happened in the debriefing.

One can speculate about whether or not surrounding a park car is more risky to the public and all of the officers involved than a high speed chase at speeds sometimes reaching 110 miles per hour. Seems to me a high speed chase involving a large contingent of officers with their adrenaline pumping weaving in and out of traffic for 40 miles would be the most risk to the most people.

As far as to the rights of the criminal, at the point he chose to become a robber and try to run over police, I would have been happy with him being a fatality in a single car collision with a tree, as long as the tree lived.

And finally, I don\'t really see where the officers, other than the CHP pursuers, deserve a pat on the back in this case, based on what we know at this point.

The above are just my opinions, and as always I could be wrong.

Posted by Doo Doo
a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 20, 2008 at 3:48 pm

WOW...Jenn, do you realize I've been messing with people for weeks now, and your the first person to take the bait! You should be proud of yourself...
For the record Jennifer, from what you've written, I feel the same way you do. I just like to argue the other point, and see who wants to 'dance'... I agree with you fully, that there should be an investigation...and in-depth investigation and get to the bottom of it. I bet that if we taw payers pay a team of investigators, they might be able to find some mundane detail that the officers didn't follow. I bet some of the officers waited for instructions, wasting valuable time or something. Its a shame we have to wait months for the report though...why can't the officers involved just admitt their incompetence...

Well, hopefully after the investigative team figures out how this suspect was able to flee from the bumbling pleasanton police force...we can get down to buisness and FIRE some police officers !!!

Like I said Jenn....I'm with you....So I'll appreciate it if you don't personally attack my Christian name !!!

Posted by Doo Doo
a resident of Valley Trails
on Aug 20, 2008 at 3:51 pm

CORRECTION: "if we TAX PAYERS pay ..." not taw payers...
sorry, I only got a C- in English at Juvie....

Posted by chris
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm

ah, yet again, nothing positive, just a bunch of resentlful name calling adults...GROW UP!

Posted by David Walden
a resident of Verona
on Aug 21, 2008 at 5:56 pm

This is all a bunch of "Doo Doo". It is always easy to render an opinion with 20/20 hindsight. I have known many of the officers and commanders over the years from the Pleasanton Police Department and I have always seen professionalism and good common sense. Every encounter is different and no amount of training can prepare the officer for every situation. They are human and like all of us learn from mistakes that happen during their beat like we do on our jobs. I am not a cop and never wanted to be one but I respect the people that we hire to do their best to protect us and I am not afraid to use my name to say so, unlike some others.

I will identify myself as a member of the Martin C. Kauffman 100 Club of Alameda County and I have since the middle 80s put up my cash each year to support the families of "fallen" police and firefighters. It is a worthy cause and I am thankful that these people are around to do the things that I am not trained or willing to do. Thank you Pleasanton Police.

Posted by republican
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

To all the idiots making comments about the police actions, why don't you go on a ride along with the PD and feel how it is to be in an active situation and not just reading about it in the comfort of your safe home. Not only do they have to box the suspect in but it was during business hours in one of the cities bussiest areas..the courthouse parking lot. This creates another major issue of public safety. And to the idiot listening on a scanner..get a life. If your not happy with the Pleasanton PD you could always move to Oakland were the Offices will treat you much better.

Posted by truth
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Aug 23, 2008 at 9:16 pm

(comment removed by PW for name-calling)

Posted by 5.0
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 25, 2008 at 9:46 am


Posted by JJ
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 26, 2008 at 9:32 pm

The police should be given shoot to kill license! thats the only thing that will make the whole city safe from bad guys.

Posted by John
a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 10, 2008 at 5:27 pm

Clarification for our Pleasanton community readers. All police officers are bound by law and departmental policy and procedures. For the lack of worthy news reporting, this suspect was known to be in possession of a semi-automatic hand gun, which he used in each robbery. The suspect had actually fired the gun at one store manager when the manager chased after him. The day the suspect was located at the Pleasanton Court House by a solo officer, the suspect had committed five armed robberies throughout the Eastbay the day prior with this handgun.
I don’t know about you, but knowing someone was sitting inside their car and had a handgun, I too would wait for backup. Most police agencies highly discourage their officers to shoot at moving vehicles. This is not a movie production, so why would anyone think that shooting a small bullet at a large chunk of moving metal would make the car stop. Best case scenario, a bullet strikes the suspect in the head and the car stops…. Worst case scenario, the bullets go flying by the fleeing car and strike your 10 year old child walking down the street or playing in the nearby park. And that’s what a police officer has to think about in about 10 seconds……

Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Sep 11, 2008 at 3:18 am

Not to belabor the subject but the article stated "Officers attempted to block the car in", not a solo officer.

It isn't unusual, where necessary, for a solo officer to extract an armed suspect from a vehicle. They're trained in this tactic. I know of a location where a junk car is used for that purpose. There are instances where backup can be 1/2 hour, or sometimes more, away(CHP or Deputy Sheriff patrolling a rural area, Dept. of Fish & Game Warden patrolling an entire county alone) but in this instance there was more than one officer present.

The suspect reportedly had a semi-auto handgun - so did the responding officers. They're trained in live fire situtations whereas the suspect probably wasn't(I can't say with certainty he wasn't but that would be my guess. From all accounts he was a "run of the mill" robber. Show the gun, grab the cash and flee). Some how, the CHP apprehended this guy and they had to know he was probably armed.

No, this wasn't a production studio but I know law enforcement officers that can consistently hit an 8 inch moving "dinner plate" target at 20 yards with a .40 caliber semi-auto handgun(it's called practice, practice, practice). Also, firing on a moving vehicle isn't unusal. Check the news reports coming from LA or watch some of the "real time" situtations recorded by patrol car dash board video cameras. I know, that's TV but it is "real time", not production room. I'm not saying they should have fired on this vehicle, just that I wouldn't have allowed this guy to run me down without defending myself if I were a police officer, which I'm not nor do I wish to be.

I have utmost respect for the PPD but they, and the Dublin PD, botched this one. They let him escape on to public streets with 2 weapons - a handgun and a speeding vehicle. What would have been best - apprehend the guy in a parking lot or let him escape onto a street where he could have run over your 10 year old child in a crosswalk....

Posted by preserve my quality of life
a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Sep 30, 2008 at 11:14 pm

Cholo cant go on a police ride cuz he'll finally get arrested and turned over to ICE. Ptown is NOT an illegal sanctuary however, keep the liberal Hostermann around and we are bound to follow S.F's suit on everything before you know it!

Posted by thanks for the enertainment
a resident of Downtown
on May 12, 2009 at 2:43 am

Anonymous Witness,

i c u have learned to text. That's good.

Are you a product of the Pleasanton Unified School District. If so, I'll vote Yes on the parcel tax. PUSD really needs the funds if you are an example of what they are turning out.

Did you witness this as they were unloading you from the paddy wagon.

Go to bed now. Your mommie said it's past your bedtime and tomorrow is a school day.

c u later.

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