Crime Blotter: Flooded Marijuana Bust; Serial Innkeeper Defrauder; Clean Thief, Almost

A snapshot of the week in crime and crime fighting.

Soggy Buds. On the morning of Sunday, July 17, a man got a call from one of his neighbors telling him there was water leaking out from under the garage door of the man's rental property on Regatta Way, according to a  report. The neighbor said the renter, who had been in the house since January, didn't appear to be home.

The owner of the property called the house and left a message. When he didn't hear back, he decided to go over to the house to find out how serious the leak was, he told police.

At the house, the man saw "a large amount of water cascading down his driveway," according to the police report. He knocked on the door but no one answered, so he used his key to go into the house.

Inside, he found the carpet covered in a few inches of water and marijuana growing in the downstairs bedroom. He told police that water hoses, hydroponics lamps and electrical cords were running through the house. The man could not find the source of the leak, so he shut off the main valve.

He called police, and two officers showed up to inspect the house. They found over 400 marijuana plants growing in the home’s four bedrooms. All of the bedroom windows were covered with plastic, and thermostats in the bedrooms indicated temperatures of over 100 degrees, police reported.

Officers did not find any indication that the grow operation was legal, according to police.


Clean Thief, Almost. Around noon on July 11, police were dispatched to Walgreens on 136th Street regarding an attempted theft. The manager told police that a man had walked into the store, filled his backpack up with soap and body washes, and started to head out the door, according to the police report.

The manager confronted the man and asked him to give the items back. The suspect said, “Fine, you can have this backpack,” and left the store without the pack, according to the police report.


Violent Purse Snatcher. On Thursday, July 14 around 9:45 p.m., a woman was at the intersection of Louise Street and Betty Avenue when a man grabbed her around the neck from behind, the woman told police.

The suspect threw the woman to the ground and grabbed her purse, according to the police report. The suspect kicked the woman twice to make her give up her purse, then ran down Louise Street and got into a vehicle.

Officers arrived and searched the area but did not find the suspect, according to the police report.


Eat and Run at The Hickory Pit: Part II. A 50-something female walked into Emil Villa’s Hickory Pit on East 14th Street on July 13 and ordered chicken fried steak and coffee, according to a police report.

The woman finished her meal, and then walked out the door without making any attempt to pay, the waitress told police. The waitress pointed the woman out to the owner, who recognized her as the in April. The owner called the police.

An officer stopped a suspect matching the description of the woman on Estudillo Avenue, according to the police report. The officer drove the suspect back to the restaurant, where the waitress identified the woman as the one who walked out without paying.

The woman, Diane Williams, had been arrested three separate times in April for eating at restaurants without paying, and was on probation for the crime, according to the police report. Williams was arrested and taken to Hayward Jail.


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