After a number of automobile burglaries took place on the same block in Hercules, police are asking for the public's help in catching the suspect. Over the past couple of months, there have been a rise in smash-and-grab automobile burglaries in Hercules and other cities in the East Bay. In response, police plan to increase patrols in commercial areas.
According to the Hercules Police Department, three cars were broken into within one hour on the 800 block of Willow Avenue. At 8:07 p.m., an officer responded to a report of an automobile burglary. The victim reported someone smashed the window of their car, taking two suitcases and a duffel bag, which included a laptop computer.
Minutes later, a second auto burglary was reported in the same area. A woman reported the rear window of her Mercedes was smashed, and her Armani satchel was taken. The police found drops of blood on the car, possibly from the suspect smashing the window. Swabs were collected for evidence.
Twenty minutes later, a third auto burglary report came in. The victim reported returning to their car after visiting a shopping center and finding their rear window was broken. A Samsonite case containing two laptops was missing from the vehicle.
From October 1st through the 27th, Hercules police received 28 reports of auto burglary. Most of these reports involved stolen electronics, including laptops or GPS devices. Many of these auto burglaries took place in commercial areas and parking lots. Police suspect many of these incidents have been committed by the same suspect or suspects.
Recently, a man in Pinole was arrested on suspicion of automobile burglary. Peletisara Patu, a 32-year-old man from San Francisco worked as a security guard at a Pinole shopping center. When police responded to a report of a vehicle burglary, they saw a suspect fleeing the area. After stopping the suspect, they found a stun gun, drugs, burglary tools, and items taken from the vehicle burglary. Patu was arrested on suspicion of auto burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of narcotics.
Breaking into an automobile and taking items inside the car is considered a crime of burglary in California. Under California Penal Code 459, anyone who enters a vehicle with the intent to commit grand larceny, petit larceny, or any felony is guilty of burglary. Burglary in the second degree is punishable by up to one year in jail.
If you are facing a charge of auto burglary or other criminal offenses contact an experienced DUI attorney. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people in the East Bay. For over 30 years, she has personally handled hundreds of cases involving people arrested for burglary, DUI, and drug offenses. If you have been arrested here in the East Bay, there is still time to keep a conviction off your record. Contact a local East Bay criminal defense attorney who understands that you don't have to plead guilty just because you were arrested.