PETALUMA – According to a community bulletin issued by the Petaluma Police Department (PPD) on June 16th, PPD received a report of an alarm call at a business on East Washington Street just before 3 AM on Tuesday, June 14th. Numerous officers arrived and located a hole in a wall below a window at the business.
Officers reviewed the video surveillance with the business owner while on scene. The video showed a male wearing a dark hat, trench coat, and a light colored shirt entering the business. The suspect was in the business for approximately a minute before fleeing. It appeared the suspect did not take anything.
Shortly after 4:30 AM, another business alarm call was reported in the area of Kentucky Street. A witness called 911 and said that they heard glass breaking and saw an unknown male in a black hat with a trench coat walking eastbound on East Washington Street.
Officers were still on scene at the first alarm call processing the scene for evidence and responded. Officers responding to the second business and found that the suspect had smashed the window to the business to gain entry. Other officers were checking the area for the suspect.
Officers contacted a suspect walking on East Washington fronting River Plaza Shopping Center. The man was wearing a black hat and trench coat. Property from the Kentucky business was located in his pockets. He also had a screwdriver, cash in small denominations and a large amount of change.
The suspect was identified as Lee Stewart, a 50-year-old resident of Richmond. Stewart was arrested for committing the two burglaries, possession of stolen property and possession of a burglary tool. The employees of three other businesses in the area also reported burglaries with window smashes later in the morning.
Stewart is believed to be the suspect in these additional burglaries as well. Evidence was taken from the scenes and is being processed. Stewart was booked at Sonoma County Jail, with bail set at $70,000.