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Benicia Police Department
Friday April 22nd, 2011 :: 10:40 a.m. PDT


Alert Citizen Leads to Benicia Police Arrest of Suspected Auto Burglar / Car Thief

Benicia Police arrested a Richmond parolee for auto burglary and vehicle tampering after an alert citizen called police to report suspicious activity. "Once again, our citizens step up and report a circumstance to us that not only leads to an arrest, but prevents other Benician's from being victimized," Benicia Police Lt. Mike Daley said. "One of the reasons we are the safest city in Solano County is due to the participation we get from our residents when they reports situations like this."

At around 1:30 am Friday morning, a resident on the 1800 block of Lindo Street called the Benicia Police Department to report two male subjects were tampering with a vehicle parked on the street. Benicia Police K-9 Officer Jake Heinemeyer was the first to arrive at the scene. As he arrived, 24 year old Richmond resident and parolee Rafael Rodriguez got into an SUV and tried to drive away. Officer Heinemeyer was able to stop Rodriguez and take him into custody. Rodriguez is on parole for car theft.

Officers determined that Rodriguez and his accomplice - who was able to escape the scene - had broken into a Honda Civic that the car Rodriguez was driving had been parked next to. Officer's also discovered another Honda Civic on the same block had been tampered with but not broken into. Yet a third Civic, parked on the 1700 block of Casa Grande and in the same neighborhood at Lindo Street, had been broken into and the stereo stolen. The stolen stereo was found in the SUV driven by Rodriguez.

"Our officers are able to respond quickly to all emergency calls," Lt. Daley said. "In this instance, our K9 officer was on scene within two minutes of the call, followed quickly by other officers. Many times a citizen tip, followed by an immediate response, leads to the arrest of someone trying to commit crimes in our city."

Rodriguez was booked into the Solano County Jail for felony auto burglary and possession of stolen property along with misdemeanor charges of tampering with a vehicle and prowling. He is also being held on a no bail parole violation.

Officers are working to determine who was with Rodriguez just prior to officers arriving on scene. Also, as of the time this press release is being sent, Benicia Officers are trying to determine if the vehicle Rodriguez was in was stolen. The vehicle is registered to another Richmond resident who officers are trying to contact.

For information on this press release, contact Lt. Mike Daley at (707)590-4259 or via e-mail. No booking photo of Rodriguez is available at this time.

Benicia Police Department
200 East L Street
Benicia, CA 94510

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-745-3411

Michael Daley

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