Investigators are hoping to identify a tattooed man who stole a white van from a landscaper working at a home in the 300 block of La Salle Avenue on Aug. 22, a Piedmont Police Department spokesman said.
Detective George Phifer said the victim, a Concord resident, was approached about 1 p.m. by a man who asked for directions to Lafayette Avenue, then for a ride to a gas station. After ending a short conversation, the landscaper retrieved his keys from a cup holder in his van, which was parked across the street, Phifer said. Moments later, the thief pushed an object against the victim's right side and demanded the keys, which the landscaper handed over, Phifer said.
The tattooed man drove away in the van, which contained some gardening tools, Phifer said.
The thief is described as a white male, 20 to 25 years old, 5' 9" to 5' 10" tall, weighing about 170 to 175 pounds, with short brown hair. He was wearing a black shirt and pants with white Nike tennis shoes. He had a distinctive tattoo on the right side of his neck, Phifer said: an outline of California with an "A's" (as in Oakland A's) insignia within the outline. More tattoos were visible on one arm.
Law enforcement databases of tattoos may help identify the thief, Phifer said.
The van was recovered the following day in Oakland.
Phifer said that while the crime was initially classified as a robbery, it was technically a carjacking because of the proximity of the victim and his vehicle.
MONDAY, AUG. 20
Residential burglary — A burglar rifled through drawers and took a box of coins, a laptop computer, a camera and jewelry from a home in the 100 block of Ronada Avenue in the late afternoon. Police said the intruder apparently entered and left the home through an unlocked rear door between 4:20 and 5:15 p.m.
TUESDAY, AUG. 21
Lost and found — A lost iPad was turned in to the Piedmont Police Department about 1 p.m. It was returned to its owner.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 22
Outside assist — A vehicle hit the median strip on Park Boulevard near Leimert Boulevard about 10:50 p.m. Although the accident was technically in Oakland, Piedmont police called for a tow truck at the owner's request.
THURSDAY, AUG. 23
Truck 1, traffic light 0 — A UPS truck hit a traffic signal at the intersection of Moraga and Highland avenues about 1:30 p.m. Alameda County Public Works responded to repair the light.
Auto burglary — Someone rifled through a locked vehicle in the 100 block of Dale Avenue the previous night and took some loose change, a caller told police at 5:33 p.m. The victim did not want to make a formal report.
Stolen car — A Honda Civic was stolen from the 1800 block of Trestle Glen Road sometime between midnight and 5 p.m. Oakland police located the stolen vehicle two days later.
FRIDAY, AUG. 24
Police chase — A Piedmont police officer checked the license plate of a compact car driving on Grand Avenue about 1:40 a.m. and learned the vehicle had been stolen. The driver of the stolen car would not pull over and was chased at speeds up to 50 mph along Pleasant Valley Road. The officer lost sight of the stolen car near the intersection of 51st and Desmond streets in Oakland.
Residential burglary — A girl's bicycle was stolen from a garage in the 400 block of Scenic Avenue sometime between 10 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 a.m. Friday. The victim did not wish to make a formal report.
Auto burglaries and petty thefts — Several Piedmont residents reported thefts from vehicles, mostly likely during the night. They included an incident in the first block of Olive Avenue where someone smashed a driver's side window of a car to take an iPod and also rifled through the same victim's pickup truck; a FasTrak responder taken from another vehicle in the same block; a cell phone stolen from a vehicle in the 100 block of Ronada Avenue; and change taken from a car in the first block of Lake Avenue. Another theft from an unlocked vehicle, this one in the 100 block of Lake Avenue, was reported the following day.
Stolen bikes — Bicycles were stolen from a driveway in the 100 block of Waldo Avenue and the front porch of a home in the 300 block of Pala Avenue.
SATURDAY, AUG. 25
Bicycle theft — Two bicycles were reported stolen from a carport in the 500 block of Mountain Avenue. Two more bikes were taken from a rear yard in the 500 block of Mountain Avenue.
Home burglary — Thieves burglarized a home in the 300 block of Sheridan Avenue during the daytime. Details were not available.
SUNDAY, AUG. 26
Vandalism — Someone used a BB gun to shoot out a window of a Honda Pilot parked in the 100 block of Grand Avenue
MONDAY, AUG. 27
Vandalism — Someone spray-painted a bench in the Hall Fenway Park. See separate article.
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