Police briefs from the Valley, June 9


A Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy noticed a truck parked in a parking lot on Sonoma Highway in the wee hours Thursday, May 25, and stopped to investigate. When it was all over the suspect was arrested on multiple drug, firearm and gang charges, and sent to county jail.

About 2:30 a.m., a deputy on patrol in the 18000 block of Sonoma Highway observed a suspicious vehicle parked in an auto service lot and flashing its brake lights. When confronted a man jumped out of his truck, saying he was dropping off a friend, but the deputy was suspicious since the business was closed.

The suspect appeared nervous and possibly under the influence of drugs. A field test suggested he was under the influence of methamphetamine, so he and his vehicle were searched. Methamphetamine, heroin and a gun were found in a tool box in the back of the truck; marijuana was also discovered.

The suspect admitted the contraband was his and, since gang paraphernalia was also found in his truck, said he was a former gang member.

He was booked for the following crimes, among others: possession of a loaded firearm while under the influence, gang member in possession of a loaded firearm, transportation and possession of meth, heroin and marijuana for sale; being under the influence, and being an unlicensed driver.

The gun registration could not be found. But Fernando Figueroa-Chavez of Santa Rosa, 31, faces ten felonies and two misdemeanor charges.

He is being held at Sonoma County Jail on $40,000 bail.

In other recent sheriff’s logs from Sonoma City and the Valley Substation:

Monday, May 8:

2:42 p.m. – A Sonoma resident reported that somebody opened an American Express account in his name, ran up more than $11,000 in charges and, to add insult to injury, his bank, Wells Fargo, had deducted that amount from his account.

3:11 p.m. – A resident in the 100 block of Boyes Boulevard said that an unknown female knocked on his door, went to the backyard where she grabbed a cordless flashlight and a tire iron before leaving. The woman was caught on the homeowner’s video and the responding deputy recognized the woman. The deputy went to the woman’s residence and found she was wearing the same clothes when she made her debut on the video. The 30-year-old woman was charged with petty theft, receiving stolen property and a probation violation and transported to jail.

Wednesday, May 10:

11 a.m. – A staff member at Sonoma Valley High School noticed a 15-year-old girl exhibiting signs of being under the influence. A search of the teen’s backpack yielded a Crystal Geyser bottle with a clear alcoholic beverage. The girl was cited out for minor in possession and consumption of alcohol by a minor and released to her parents.

Thursday, May 11:

11:45 p.m. – A deputy pulled over a vehicle on Second Street West and West Napa Street for not having any headlights. After smelling alcohol on the driver, the deputy administered field sobriety tests and a preliminary alcohol screening which registered a 0.08. A breath test at the police station recorded a 0.07 BAC. Joann Tutor, 63, of Sonoma, was cited for driving under the influence and her car was towed.

Friday, May 12:

3:57 p.m. – A truck driver who was visiting the Vineburg Deli noticed a man inside a truck that was parked across the street. The driver walked over and discovered the man inside the truck had a multi-tool and was trying to start the truck. The owner detained the man until deputies arrived. The would-be thief told deputies he was homeless and was stranded in Sonoma. Loren Bricker, 21, of Santa Rosa was arrested on charges of felony attempting to steal a vehicle and possession of burglary tools. Bricker got a ride, but not the one he was looking for as he was transported to the county jail.

10:24 p.m. – While watching traffic in the Safeway parking lot, a deputy observed a vehicle that turned onto Fifth Street West spin it tires. After pulling over the motorist, the deputy noticed the man exhibited signs of intoxication. During the field sobriety tests, the man stopped, walked over to the deputy, put his hands behind his back and told the deputy, “Cuff me … I’m drunk.” At the police station, the man blew a .17 and a .18 on a breath test. Alexander Deits, 24, of Sonoma, was charged with driving under the influence and transported to the county jail.

Saturday, May 13:

2:07 a.m. – While on patrol on Highway 12 in the Glen Ellen area, a deputy spotted a car approaching in the other lane at a high rate of speed. The deputy turned around to pursue the vehicle which was traveling about 90 miles an hour. It took the deputy more than 2 ½ miles to catch up and pull the vehicle over. The motorist even tried pulling off on a side road because he knew he had a tail light out. It turns out the driver is on active PRCS (post release community supervision). During a search of the vehicle, the deputy found an expanding baton. Joshua Conway, 31, of Santa Rosa, was arrested on charges of felony possession of a leaded cane and transported to the county jail. His car was also towed.

1:11 p.m. – Deputies responded to Sonoma Market for a report of a shoplifter. The man had apparently walked out of the market with stolen liquor on March 25, and May 12 he had returned and had filled up another shopping cart with liquor. This time store personnel apprehended him. The store had videos and photos of the previous thefts. They figured he stole $357.90 worth in March, $374.71 on May 12, and $257.02 on May 13 for a total of $989.63. The 58-year-old Santa Rosa resident was arrested on charges of burglary or shoplifting less than $950, and transported to the county jail.