MENDOCINO – It was late Sunday night when Ukiah resident Bret Counterman was lurking in a Mendocino neighborhood on Pine Street, not far from the Headlands State Park and Mendocino High School. He had parked his car, doing his best to conceal it from view, as it had false registration tabs, and he was up to no good anyway.
But Sheriff’s Deputies were in the area, keeping an eye out for suspicious circumstances. They had received several recent reports of thefts from unlocked vehicles, gasoline siphoned from cars, and residential burglaries as well. According to a Sheriff’s press release, this prompted them to increase their patrols in the residential village. It was already past 1 am when they spotted the car, parked in such a way as to make it look like it was being hidden from suspicious eyes. They noted the invalid registration tabs, and kept an eye out in the area.
About a half hour later they observed the same car, now being driven from the area, and stopped it. The driver was of course 21-year-old Bret Allen Counterman. As they spoke with him, the deputies noticed a fuel can and siphon hose in the car, making him an immediate suspect in the burglaries they were investigating.
They ended up finding property from ten recently reported thefts with Counterman, and additional items that they suspected had also been stolen, but not yet reported. He was arrested for seven counts of petty theft, two counts of burglary, from both vehicles and homes, as well as a failure to appear warrant. He was booked into Mendocino County Jail with a total bail amount of $17,500.00.