Searches on two Emeryville properties disrupts suspected Bike & Copper theft ring

Published On January 27, 2016 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary

It was a busy couple weeks for the Emeryville PD as a series of property searches led to the recovery of stolen bikes, stripped copper wire, several knives and replica guns. Acting on information provided through street intelligence of possible property squatters, The EPD conducted a series of searches leading to an arrest and recovery of suspected stolen property. Properties involved including a defunct business space on Hollis and a dilapidated house on 55th.

The first search was conducted through a “civil standby” at the defunct CMC Rebar building on Hollis & 66th. EPD officers searched the premises and uncovered stolen bikes in addition to stripped copper wiring and the above machetes and replica weapons. Other stolen property included some science equipment thought to be taken from a UC Berkeley lab.

EPD Captain Dante Diotalevi noted that threat assessment leading to the search of the Hollis property was considered low and the replica weapons were a surprise. The replica weapons look extremely convincing and are commonly used in Robberies according to Diotalevi.

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Copper has been an increasing target for thieves as the price of the metal has spiked in recent years and it relatively untraceable. Authorities have fought to curb the theft by placing limits on the amount of copper that can be redeemed for cash but oversight has been challenging.

The search of the Hollis property led to a possible connection to another property in town also occupied by suspected squatters. This one a dilapidated house on 55th that the EPD had been keeping on eye on for several weeks. “We had information that bikes were being taken to this house and we determined that the occupants were squatters“ noted Diotalevi. “We performed a probation search on one of the occupants and now he’s in custody.”

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Acting on a drug-related probation search, the EPD raided the above house recovering several bikes in addition to drug paraphernalia & other suspected stolen merchandise. Squatting itself will not generally lead to an immediate arrest and an eviction notice needs to be filed by the property owner as a matter of process. In this case, the man in question’s status was a violation of his probation and he was arrested.

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The stolen property will be entered into the EPD’s computer system and cross-referenced for matches. Parts on bikes are often swapped and serial numbers filed off so returning them to their rightful owner is challenging. If you recently had a bike stolen and suspect yours make have been among the ones recovered, please call the Emeryville PD general line at (510) 596-3700.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

5 Responses to Searches on two Emeryville properties disrupts suspected Bike & Copper theft ring

  1. D says:

    Possible connection to the copper wiring stolen from the Ralph Hawley middle school relocatables?

  2. Ken Bukowski says:

    the owner of the house on 55th Street recently committed suicide, Johnny McNaughton, for unknown reasons. He was a long time resident.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the information – I am not aware of any other source of info about E’ville.

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