General Crime

Sonoma Couple Arrested for Alleged Burglary and Possession of Stolen Property

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A man suspected of committing several recent commercial burglaries in the Sonoma area was arrested early Wednesday morning, police said. A sheriff’s deputy assigned to the Sonoma Police Department spotted a suspicious male walking out of the parking lot behind the Sonoma Marketplace Shopping Center on West Napa Street around 2:10 a.m., Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett said. The deputy, who was aware of a rash of recent commercial burglaries, detained the male after he dropped a slingshot and small crowbar and tried to walk away, Sackett said.

Several of the recent burglaries had involved pry tools, and a slingshot was used in at least one of the crimes to smash open a window, Sackett said. Deputies arrested the suspect, Harlan Russell Butler, 44, a transient who frequents Santa Rosa and Guerneville, on suspicion of possession of burglary tools and a violation of probation, Sackett said. He was booked into Sonoma County Jail. Deputies then searched the Sonoma Valley home of Butler’s girlfriend, 29-year-old Theresa Kessinger-Mears, and found items that had been stolen during burglaries in and around Sonoma, Sackett said. Mears was booked into Sonoma County Jail for possession of methamphetamine.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Raasch said Butler is suspected of committing at least three burglaries at jewelry, clothing and gift stores in Sonoma over the past month. Clothing, jewelry, money and a cash box were confiscated from Mears’ house, Raasch said. The city of Sonoma contracts with the sheriff’s office for police services.

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