A three-month investigation of phone and computer records lead to charging a 13-year-old boy with sending threatening text messages of a sexual nature to a 12-year-old girl. The series of obscene texts alarmed the family to the point they altered their daily routine for safety purposes. Suspicion fell on a classmate, who was not intimidated when the girl’s brother let him know he had been fingered. But it wasn’t until a series of court orders prompted the release of phone records that police discovered the registered name on the mobile phone contract. The suspect turned out to be the son in that Springs household, who said the victim was merely an acquaintance and the messages were but a joke. Police, far from amused, charged the youth with making terrorist threats, and cited him to Youth Family Services.
An empty bank-owned house, for sale in the 300 block of 5th St. West, was the scene of an unauthorized estate sale of sorts. Reported stolen on March 17 was $7,700 worth of major kitchen appliances (fridge, range, oven, etc.) plus a lawnmower from the garage and a fireplace and fountain from the backyard. The padlock on the fence was missing, but no signs of forced entry.
A random prank by a hapless drunk turned into a frightening encounter for a 94-year-old woman at her home in the 300 block of Arroyo late on March 17. The lout, 23, was banging on neighborhood doors when he came to hers and demanded entry. She told him to go away but ten minutes later she noticed he had passed out on her porch. She called police and yelled at him again. He awoke, punched in her front window and ran off. Between her description and his impaired mobility, police found the suspect nearby. He was arrested on charges of public intoxication and vandalism.
A woman driving under the influence thought pulling herself over before the cops did might help her evade a bust. No such luck for the 25-year-old Sonoma woman. The squad car followed her as she left a West Spain St. watering hole on March 16. She abruptly (oddly, but legally) pulled over and turned out the lights. The cop drove by, and then turned around to make inquiries. On the way to my boyfriend’s house, she said. The lass, missing her driver’s license, was clearly tanked, as the initial blood test result of .198 showed.
Never buy a used getaway car
The Petaluma woman, 32, gave a fake name when pulled over for driving down Broadway with a smashed windshield. The March 14 incident went down hill from there. She told the law she had lost her license, but the car registration, a credit card found in the glove box and a faxed photograph established her real identity. She said she used the phony name because her license had been suspended. Also on her record: felony probation for burglary, which allowed the subsequent search of the vehicle. The Volvo sedan was full of what turned out to be stolen merchandise: flat screen TV, portable air conditioner, DVD player, skill saw and other items purloined from a storage shed, the owner of which was traced by pieces of his (also stolen) mail found in the car. As for the burglary tools, those were not stolen – earning the would-be mastermind another jail-worthy offense.
High school confidential
March 15 was a busy day for authorities at Sonoma Valley High School. At 8:15 a.m., the drunkenness of a 16-year-old boy was confirmed by the near-empty bottle of tequila found in his backpack; found it in an open locker, he said, so of course went ahead and drank it. At 1:45 p.m., the forbidden substance was marijuana: a 17-year-old Springs lad, emanating a pungent aroma of illicit origin and contending he was simply holding it for a friend, was apprehended with a bag of green buds in his jack pocket. The final incident was a Facebook-fueled jealous rage. The 17-year-old BF, skeptical over messages his GF, 18, was sharing, slapped the girl, breaking her nose, and wrestled her to the ground. The El Verano lad was cited for felony battery.
The new plastic surgery
Identity theft reported March 14 by a 58-year-old Glen Ellen man, alerted by his bank that suspicious charges were appearing on his account. Like most scams in this emerging crime wave, the man never lost possession of his card. By merely obtaining the account number, likely from another scammer, an enterprising criminal can use portable equipment to create an exact facsimile of the original card. In this case, four charges “all across the country” were submitted, but only two (total value $725) were approved. The other two ($5,700) were declined.
Incoherently drunk after “slamming tequila” at 7:30 a.m. on a school day, a 15-year-old was taken to the hospital after vomiting and passing out in class on March 11. His blood level tested at .21 — a prodigious count for any age or hour. Cops were summoned, and told by the lad that he and a buddy had scored the booze at the CVS Pharmacy. The accomplice, reminded of the store’s surveillance system, eventually admitted to swiping the bottle – he was charged with shoplifting and possession of alcohol — and then passing the hooch to his pal waiting outside. The thief abstained; not so his guzzling, hospital-bound friend, whose condition invited a citation for violating the social host ordinance.
All accounts of alleged crimes are based on verbal reports from the Sonoma Police Department.