SANTA CLARA COUNTY – On Monday, June 1, San Jose Police announced that three car theft suspects, 24-year-olds Colby Worsham, Anthony Roberts, and Richard Higgerson were arrested on what police believe was a vehicle theft ring stealing cars from local YMCA facilities throughout the Southern part of San Jose.
According to Press Information Officer Albert Morales with the San Jose Police Department, a follow up investigation by Regional Auto Theft Task Force Officers at various locations in San Jose led to the arrests. Evidence available to the investigative team led to the three suspects, who were suspected of first stealing a car on Sunday, May 3, at the South County YMCA. After quickly entering the facility, the suspects began to break into lockers looking for remote key fobs in order to locate cars parked near the gym. When the car beeped, they would use the keys to drive it away.
The SJPD was able to identify them through follow up investigations into the incidents. According to Officer Morales, there were three confirmed car thefts with two attempted. Morales said, “We are continuing to follow up on possibly others.” YMCA employees were instrumental in helping to identify the suspects and provide crucial evidence and information, according to police.
This case comes at the heels of an arrest by Palo Alto Police of a suspect who had broken into numerous vehicles throughout the Bay Area. According to authorities 27-year-old Andrew Peacock of Oakland broke multiple cars within four different parking lots along El Camino Real. Police departments from Los Altos, Mountain View, and Palo Alto teamed up to make the arrest of the serial auto burglar.
According to KTVU, Palo Alto Police Sergeant James Reifschneider said, “Just last month was our worst month in probably a year and a half in terms of the sheer volume,” Reifschneider said, “We had almost 60 auto burglaries reported just during the month of May.” According to the department’s figures, in May alone Palo Alto reported 59 auto burglaries, which was the highest in one month’s time since December 2013. The numbers have increased this year, with a total of 313 auto burglaries in all of 2014, there have been at least 192 auto burglaries already reported since January of 2015.
According to authorities, on Monday, June 1 between 11:07 a.m. and 11:26 a.m., their 24-hour dispatch center received four separate calls of auto burglaries that had just occurred. The first occurred in the Town & Country Shopping Center parking lot at 855 El Camino Real, the second at the Starbucks parking lot at 2000 El Camino Real, the third at the Corner Bakery Cafe parking lot at 3375 El Camino Real, and the fourth at the Hobee’s Restaurant parking lot at 4224 El Camino Real.
The suspect had been found to be targeting unoccupied vehicles with personal electronic items inside, such as laptops, iPads, and other electronic devices that had been left in plain view. Peacock reportedly smashed car windows in order to steal these types of items.
At about 11:32 a.m., an officer from the Mountain View Police Department located the suspect’s vehicle in the In-N-Out Burger parking lot at 1159 North Rengstorff Avenue in Mountain View. Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department were already in the area looking for the suspect, and tried to block Peacock’s exit, but instead of stopping he rammed the unmarked detectives’ car and got away. Fortunately no one was injured.
After evading police through a high speed chase onto Highway 101, at about 11:47 a.m., an officer from the Los Altos Police Department observed the suspect vehicle driving in the area of Grant Road and Fremont Avenue but was unable to stop him.
A short time later, a Los Altos Police Department detective in an unmarked car observed the suspect walking in the 700 block of Berry Avenue. The detective called for additional officers and kept the suspect under observation. The suspect walked into the Los Altos Bakery Cafe inside the Rancho Shopping Center at 600 Fremont Avenue. Officers from the Los Altos Police Department went into the bakery and found the suspect hiding inside the restroom. They detained him without further incident.
According to investigators, “Detectives from the Los Altos Police Department found the suspect’s damaged vehicle parked in the 700 block of Alvina Court, immediately around the corner from where they had first seen him walking. Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department towed the suspect’s vehicle for investigation and are currently processing it, as well as items inside of it, for evidence.”
Detectives recovered all of the property stolen from the four Palo Alto auto burglaries that had occurred on June 1, and they also located personal checkbooks and a cell phone they believe to have been stolen in other auto burglaries from other jurisdictions. Detectives are working to return these items to the rightful owners.
Peacock was found to be on active probation out of Alameda County for a prior conviction of burglary. Additional charges against Peacock may be forthcoming from the Mountain View Police Department and the Los Altos Police Department as a result of his actions.
“This is a great example of interagency cooperation, with three departments working together to locate and arrest a prolific burglar,” said Lieutenant Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department. “We very much appreciate the help from the Los Altos Police Department and the Mountain View Police Department, and we’re pleased that this incident ended without anyone being injured.”
Anyone with information about this incident or this suspect is asked to call Palo Alto PD’s 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to email@example.com or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through a free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStoreor bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.