On Monday, December 12, a property maintenance worker discovered 53-year-old Bruce Conway Vanderpool at a commercial property located in the 3000 block of Main Street in Alameda that should have otherwise been vacant. The man evoked his Citizen’s Arrest rights and arrested Vanderpool for allegedly trespassing.
Vanderpool was found in possession of various burglary tools, which is a violation of California’s Penal Code, and had been previously issued a stay-away order that legally required him to remain off the property. Vanderpool additionally had several prior arrests for possessing stolen copper and scrap metal from 3000 Main Street and other vacant buildings nearby.
In California, and most other states, a private citizen has the right to arrest someone who has committed a felony in his or her presence. A civilian may even arrest someone who he or she reasonably believes has committed a felony so long as the felony was in fact committed. In cases of misdemeanors a private citizen must witness the crime and arrest the perpetrator immediately.
Vanderpool was booked on charges of felony burglary, possession of burglary tools, trespass and violation of a court order.