Transporting stolen goods 101
A required course for anyone developing the curriculum at Crime Tech University would have to be "Transporting and hiding stolen goods, 101."
It's a course that would have been helpful for a 32-year-old Petaluma woman who was stopped by a Sonoma police officer at about 10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 14, on Broadway near Andrieux Street when he noticed that her metallic-colored, 2001 Volvo sedan had a smashed windshield.
Contacting the driver, the officer asked for her license. She said she had recently lost it. He then asked for her name and the name of her passenger, who was out of earshot. She told him her name was Jamie Dawn Fry and that her passenger was simply, "Alissa." She didn't know the woman's last name. Then the officer asked the passenger what her name was and the passenger gave an entirely different and, as it turned out, real name.
Armed with probable cause, the officer spotted a small purse in the car with a bank card inside bearing the name Jasmine Palmer. The officer then did a records search, learned that Jasmine Palmer was the listed owner of the vehicle, and had a photo of Jasmine Palmer sent to his cell phone. When the photo arrived he compared it to the driver and was not enormously surprised to find that they matched.
Lesson Number One: When you lie to a police officer about your name - and your passenger's name - it is wise to have some credible back-up identification handy. It is also handy to have your ID match the name on your auto registration. Since doing this is beyond the skill, imagination and resource of all but the top tier of professional criminals, it is best not to lie about your name.
In addition to her real name, the officer also learned that Palmer's driver's license was suspended and she was on felony probation. That warranted a search of the car which revealed a plethora of property, along with items of U.S. mail addressed to two different men, neither of whom was Jasmine Palmer.
Lesson Number Two: It is unwise to drive about in broad daylight, on felony probation, in a car with a smashed windshield filled with various valuable items and pieces of mail that do not belong to you.
A detective was called in to assess the contents of the car, which included a white, stand-up portable air conditioner, an orange Skill saw, a flat screen TV, a DVD player, a shop light and a Famous Stars hat. Plus the mail and what police described as a set of burglar tools, including a bump key.
Bump keys are specially altered to free the pins inside most locks when "bumped" with a small hammer. Bump-proof locks are available at hardware stores, but the majority of locks currently in use are susceptible to bump key use and the technique is graphically and ubiquitously available online.
When asked about the mail in her car, Palmer explained that the letters and other possessions came from the house of a friend in Windsor who had been injured in a car accident. The friend's sister, Palmer said, had asked her to collect the things and bring them to him.
But police quickly determined that the man in question was not in the hospital, he was in Mexico on vacation.
Palmer was subsequently charged with providing false identification to a police officer, receiving stolen property, felony probation violation, misdemeanor probation violation and possession of burglary tools.
She was booked into the county jail under her own name.
In other incidents reported to local law enforcement:
Friday, March 11:
8:46 a.m. - Two teens, too-much tequila. Well before some students were settled in class at Sonoma Valley High School, two SVHS teens had already shoplifted a bottle of Sauza tequila from CVS pharmacy and one of them had chugged so many mouthfuls he became almost incoherent on campus, prompting an assistant principal to contact Sonoma Fire/Med for emergency assistance.
As police unraveled the tale of boozing teens, they learned that the two boys went to the CVS store at about 7:22 a.m. and a 16-year-old walked out with the bottle. Surveillance cameras caught the two boys on tape, although when confronted at school the one who actually shoplifted the bottle claimed to have been on a school bus at that time. Told of the taped evidence he quickly recanted.
After "slamming" the tequila behind Round Table Pizza, they proceeded to school, where the 15-year-old was quickly confronted by authorities who discovered him reeking of alcohol and barely able to talk.
A preliminary breath test revealed a blood alcohol level of .21. The 15-year-old was cited for violating the city's social host ordinance governing the underage consumption of alcohol. The 16-year-old was cited for shoplifting and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
Monday, March 14:
11 a.m. - Texting threats terrorize girl. Sonoma police solved a case of texting terrorism when they cited a 13-year-old Boyes Hot Springs boy for sending threatening text messages to a 12-year-old girl on Dec. 14. The messages contained various lewd and obscene comments, along with the statement, "Imma rape you."
After receiving the texts, the girl became extremely upset, changed all her daily behavior patterns and had her mother accompany her to school.
The girl's brother then texted the suspect back, pretending to be his sister, and eventually identified the texter as being a student who utilized a texting service called GOGII textPlus.
A police officer secured a court order requiring information on the texter from Gogii, who did not have a name but were able to provide the registration number for an Apple iPod Touch used to send the texts. Police then got a court order for Apple requesting identification of the iPod's owner, who turned out to have a Madison Drive address. When police arrived there they found the house empty and learned that the family had moved. Tracing a cell phone number, officers made contact with the boy and his mother.
Brought to the Sheriff's Valley substation, the youth readily admitted to sending the texts.
Police said the boy, who was "half scared out of his wits," was issued a citation for making terrorist threats.
3:56 p.m. - Missing maquettes finally reported. Police announced that a report had finally been filed by the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art regarding the theft of five artist's maquettes that were part of an exhibit of the work of famed San Francisco artist Fletcher Benton.
The pieces were taken from a shelf of numerous maquettes over the course of an exhibit that ended Feb. 6. The museum did not report the theft until lengthy communication with its insurance company and the artist. The architectural items were between 12 and 15 inches high and worth $8,000 apiece.
The museum has announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to their return.