Overnight burglaries plague Sonoma restaurants
The back window had been pried out and there was a crowbar on the ground, but there had been no entry to Estate Restaurant when police, responding quickly to a silent alarm, arrived to thwart the burglary. Nothing was missing, and the only damage was to the window. The early morning scene on Dec. 26, including the crowbar and a discarded sweater, will get the full lab treatment.
A break-in in the wee hours of Dec. 30 netted a computer, TV and cash from Meritage Restaurant. Total value of the haul was $1,800. Entry was made by breaking through wooden slats into the tented area at the rear of the property. From there, doors were pried open into an office and the dining area. The perp was long gone when the crime was discovered the next morning, but police were able to gather useful evidence.
Another restaurant break-in, this time at Rin’s Thai. Sometime over the holidays, a burglar had pulled a chair beneath a side window, removed the screen and slipped through. No signs of force, but a cash register was removed along with $200. The thief left an obnoxious calling card: a full, unflushed load in the restaurant’s toilet.
An overnight burglary was discovered Jan. 3 at The Swiss Hotel. The burglar came through the back of the property to a patio window, unlocked, to the kitchen. The screen was cut and entry was made. An old cash register, an unused display item, was taken, along with a set of hotel room keys, $10 in coins and 20 gift certificates. Unfortunately for the janitor, the thief did leave something behind, on the patio: a pile of fecal matter.
It was the day after Christmas, and the visitor to Sonoma left his motel room to return a friend’s car he had driven home from the Town Square bar the night before. Funny, the gray Honda Civic didn’t look quite right. He had only been in it twice, once on the way to the bar and then for the ride home. Still, something was off. Meanwhile, cops were on the lookout for a car that had been stolen the night before from in front of the Basque Boulangerie. Description: gray Honda Civic. What were the odds the key fit both cars? An that the cars would be parked within a few yards of one another? Officers quickly determined the tourist was no car thief, and filed the mix-up under bizarre coincidence.
Hole in the wall
An elaborate but ultimately futile break-in at Willmar Center, discovered after the Christmas holiday. As a means of entry the burglar(s) chose to pull a 200-pound air conditioning unit away from the exterior wall and crawl through the resulting space. The culprit tried to smash through a vent, breaking sheetrock in the process, but couldn’t traverse the wall framing. Entry was not made, and nothing was missing.
One size fits all?
A Sonoma man, 49, crashed his Honda Civic into a parked pick-up on Fifth Street West. His confused state surely was due to the collision, he reasoned to police, not the three beers he knocked back before getting behind the wheel. He was taken to the hospital to check for injuries – there were none – and a blood alcohol test, which hit .148. Turns out the beers drank he drank were the bigger, 24 oz. size. Either way, a DUI.
Drunk of the Week
It was after midnight on Dec. 28, but the driver of the speeding Camaro was in fine holiday spirits. Pulled over near Fifth and W. Napa, she told the officer that she was in a hurry to get to her boyfriend’s house for Christmas Eve. When reminded that day had passed, she amended the appointment to New Years Eve. Closer, but still incorrect. Perhaps it was the one glass of wine she admitted to consuming. The barefoot woman, 25, was on probation for a prior DUI. She flunked her field sobriety tests and was taken to the police department where she refused a blood test and, in alternate bouts of anger and misery, accused the cops of stealing her iPhone (it was in her purse), pleading for her mother and threatening suicide. The inevitable result: jail time in Santa Rosa.
No sudden movement
Unpleasant scene in the public Plaza bathrooms on the afternoon of Dec. 29 – a drunk man, 29, passed out on the toilet stall. Well known to authorities for his al fresco alcohol consumption, the man was roused – delicately, one presumes – for a trip to jail for violating probation.