Ron Hoekwater, Investigations Sergeant
In April of 2019, my investigations team was assigned two burglary cases where small businesses had been broken into during the night. We were delighted to see one of the business owners had video of the theft taking place that he recorded from a commercially available and easily installed camera system.
We did not recognize the thief, so we put the suspect’s photo into a state-wide data sharing system targeting bay area law enforcement agencies and asked for help in identifying the suspect.
A bay area agency used facial recognition technology to compare the suspect’s face against a database of known offenders and came back with a match to a suspect from Oakland who was on probation for theft and drug related offenses. We did a check of our Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system and saw that the suspect’s vehicle had entered town shortly before the burglaries had taken place.
We obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect and a search warrant for his vehicle and residence. Ultimately, we recovered several of the stolen items and the District Attorney’s Office filed two counts of burglary with sixteen enhancements for prior cases.
This was an excellent example of a victim providing key evidence via their personal video system and excellent follow up by Danville Detectives using a variety of technology to solve the crime, hold the suspect accountable, and recover stolen property.