*Jan 15, Alameda Police Investigating Possible Murder-Suicide

Published by on December 24, 2008

Jan 15, 2009 ALAMEDA: POLICE INVESTIGATING POSSIBLE MURDER-SUICIDE

Police found a couple shot to death inside their home in a possible murder-suicide Wednesday morning after the suspected shooter sent a group e-mail explaining they were too far in debt to go on in life.Robert James Gragg, 58, sent an e-mail to a group of people around 1:30 a.m., that said he and his long-time girlfriend Nancy Devlin, 60, were in debt, getting evicted and they had agreed to end their lives, police Lt. Bill Scott said. However, police believe Devlin was not part of the agreement and was a victim of murder.A friend opened the e-mail around 6 a.m. and asked police to check on the couple in the 100 block of Keil Bay, Scott said. When police arrived, the front door was open with a note attached to it that read, “Call police. Our bodies are upstairs,” Scott said.They found Devlin lying on a futon, covered in blankets with a gunshot to the right side of her head, he said.Gragg was on the floor, also with a gunshot wound to the head. “We’re still cleaning up some loose ends. It looked like he was running out of hope, but she still had some positive things going on in her life. It looks like he shot her while she was sleeping,” Scott said.

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Jan 15, 2009 SANTA CRUZ: POLICE ARREST 16-YEAR-OLD GIRL AS SECOND SUSPECT IN 16 HOME BURGLARIES

Santa Cruz police have arrested a 16-year-old girl as the second suspect in connection with at least 16 robberies carried out in the city and on the University of California, Santa Cruz campus, police spokesman Zach Friend said Monday. Investigators had been looking into at least 10 burglaries from city homes and another six burglaries from university homes and dorms when officers served a search warrant in the case Jan. 5 around 10 a.m. at a home in the 1500 block of Thompson Avenue, police said. Diego Armando Garcia, a 19-year-old Santa Cruz County resident, was found in the home with several items that had recently been reported stolen, according to police.Officers also found Garcia, a documented gang member, in possession of drugs and stole computers, photography equipment, credit cards, ID cards and a gun, police said.Investigators also allegedly located burglary tools and arrested Garcia on suspicion of burglary and other charges related to the narcotics possession, gun possession and probation violated, Friend said.The next day around 6 p.m., police made a second arrest in connection with the 16 burglaries. A 16-year-old girl who lives in Santa Cruz County was taken into custody in the 100 block of Bixby Street, police said. UC Santa Cruz police assisted in the arrest.The girl was associated with Garcia, though police have not determined if the girl is gang-affiliated, Friend said. She was arrested as a suspect after police discovered pictures of her with stolen equipment on one of the stolen cameras found in Garcia’s possession, according to Friend.The girl was arrested on suspicion of burglary and booked into Juvenile Hall.Police have continued to investigate the burglaries and believe additional burglaries have occurred. Friend said pictures of Garcia and of his vehicle have been released so residents who have previously seen Garcia in their neighborhood can report the sighting to police.

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Jan 14, 2009 OAKLAND: UPDATE: 18 ARRESTED IN OSCAR GRANT RALLY AND PROTEST

Eighteen people were arrested tonight during a largely peaceful protest on the streets of Oakland and its unruly aftermath, police spokesman Jeff Thomason said.  Nearly 1,000 people gathered in the plaza in front of Oakland City Hall today to protest the shooting death of Oscar Grant III by former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle at the Fruitvale station on Jan. 1.Attendees began departing shortly after 7 p.m., although a cluster of more than 100 people hung around downtown Oakland at about 8:15 p.m., chanting and waving signs.Dozens of people walked together down Broadway toward 12th street, disrupting traffic. Some individuals walking on the street carried signs that read “Jail All Racist Cops.”One man set a small fire in a garbage can on Broadway between 12th and 13th streets. Additionally, police reported that windows of a Wells Fargo bank were smashed in at 12th Street and Broadway.Officers used tear gas in response to some of the demonstrators. Thomason said three people were arrested during the main demonstration, two for possessing “Molotov cocktails” and one for an alleged attempted assault with a deadly weapon.Fifteen demonstrators were arrested in the aftermath of the protest, mostly for vandalism, Thomason said.The protest prompted the temporary closures of the 12th Street and 19th Street BART station at about 8:30 p.m. Both stations have since reopened As of about 9:45 p.m., Thomason said police were standing down. However, Thomson said, there will be “a number of officers out there to make sure there are no further incidents in the night.”Thomason described the unruly demonstrators as a “rogue element,” adding they had “an agenda of vandalism.” Councilman Larry Reid walked by the Wells Fargo Bank at 12th and Broadway around 9:30 p.m. and was upset to see broken windows and glass at the entrance to the building. “This is why we have a hard time attracting businesses to downtown,” Reid said. Oakland police were in contact with event organizers throughout the protest and Thomason said organizers were helpful in trying to control the crowd.Protest monitors wearing orange vests were on the scene throughout the evening to diffuse tensions between unruly participants, onlookers and police. Monitors said they were volunteering on behalf of the groups that organized the protests.The protest appeared to be less violent than a protest in the city last week in which more than 100 people were arrested.On 17th Street, the site of much damage from last week’s protest, business owner Gretha Hayes said the area was quiet and deserted. “Everything’s pretty much closed,” she said, adding the only reason she stayed at her boutique, A Diva’s Closet, was to catch up on work.  Many store owners closed early to avoid potential vandalism. On 17th Street, roughly half the windows in a three-block stretch were boarded from last week. Earlier in the evening, speakers at the rally said they’re glad that Mehserle, who resigned last week, has been arrested and charged with
murder for the shooting death of Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, when Mehserle and other officers responded to reports that two groups of men were fighting on a BART train.But they said they’re still keeping a close eye on the legal system so that justice is done for Grant’s death.Bishop Keith Clark of the Word Assembly Church in Oakland opened the program by saying, “We come seeking justice” and “arrest isn’t justice but conviction is.” Clark said, “We come knocking on the door of our legal system” and added “you must prosecute this man.”However, Clark also asked the protesters to be peaceful, saying, “We ask God that you will give us a peaceful protest.”At the rally, Councilwoman Desley Brooks said, “I have no confidence in the district attorney and I will watch him every step of the way.”Brooks led a group of dozens of community members who met with Alameda County District Attorney Tom Orloff last week to urge that Mehserle be prosecuted. She said the charges against Mehserle “should have happened two weeks ago.”But Brooks also urged the protesters to remain peaceful, telling the crowd, “Let’s not give the media the spectacle they want to see.” Dereka Blackmon, the co-founder of Citizens Against Police Executions (CAPE) and one of the rally’s organizers, said Grant’s mother, Wanda Johnson sent her greetings before the protest and said “have peace in the name of my son.”Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, who was booed by a small number of people in the crowd, said, “Let’s come together to bring real change because thousands of young people of color across the country are dying.” Dellums told the crowd, “Change is necessary and you have that power.” Oakland Police Chief Wayne Tucker, chief of staff Sgt. Michael Poirier and Thomason were among many police officers who watched the speeches outside City Hall. Mehserle is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Thursday at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse.

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Jan 14, 2009 SSF: TRIO ACCUSED OF EXTENSIVE IDENTITY THEFT AND FRAUD RING REMAIN IN CUSTODY

A 33-year-old man accused of leading an extensive identity theft and fraud ring in Daly City pleaded no contest Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court in South San Francisco to two felony charges, a deputy district attorney said. Pedro Daniel Guaman III’s girlfriend Lynette Gaddi, who was also arrested Dec. 18 in connection with the identity theft and fraud ring, pleaded no contest last week to felony possession of stolen property, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.A third suspect, 25-year-old Binh Quoc Du, is scheduled to be arraigned in superior court at the end of the month, Wagstaffe said. arrests were made after police obtained a search warrant for the Daly City home where Guaman and Gaddi, 35, lived. An investigation by U.S. Postal Inspectors helped Daly City police acquire the search warrant, according to Wagstaffe. The investigation produced stolen property from more than 30 victims, including checks, credit cards and identity cards, as well as computers, printers and embossers allegedly used to carry out the fraud, Wagstaffe said.Du was at Guaman and Gaddi’s home at the time of the search warrant and was allegedly found to have numerous fraudulent credit cards, driver’s licenses and checks, according to Wagstaffe. All three are believed to have stolen various items from Daly City mailboxes, and investigators allegedly found multiple mail keys at the home as well, Wagstaffe said.Guaman pleaded no contest to identity theft and illegal possession of a credit card, according to Wagstaffe.Guaman and Du remain in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail. Guaman is scheduled to be sentenced March 3, and Du will make his next court appearance Jan. 29 at his superior court arraignment, according to Wagstaffe.Gaddi is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 10. She is also in custody in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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