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Hercules Police Catch Suspected Car Thief After High-Speed Chase

The Hercules Police Department wrote and selected the following blotter items for Tuesday, Jan. 7. 

Miscellaneous Report
:  On Jan. 7 an officer went to the 100 block of Violet, in Hercules, to contact someone from the Care Home at that address.  The officer was following up on an identity theft case that was taken by San Rafael Police Department.  The adult female victim, who now resides in San Rafael, lived at the Care Home for a short time. Around that time someone accessed her bank account and withdrew money from her account without authorization. The Officer will do further follow up.

Warrant Arrest:  On January 7, 2014 at 9:20 a.m. an officer did a pedestrian stop, on two adult males, near the mini-mart of 76 Gas Station.  23 year old Gabriel Desouza, of Richmond, was found to have an outstanding Misdemeanor Warrant issued on 12/30/13.   Desouza was arrested and transported to the Martinez Detention Facility. 

Towed Vehicle & False Tab:  On Jan. 7 at 10:28 a.m. an officer towed a Green ’91 Nissan Maxima, from the BART Transit Lot, for expired registration over 6 months (June 2013).  The rear license plate had a 2014 year tab, affixed to it, which did not belong to that vehicle.

Coroners Case: On Jan. 7 at 3:30 p.m. HPD Officers were dispatched to the 400 block of Grenadine Way, in Hercules, for a death investigation.  A 47 year old male was found deceased in the garage.  He was pronounced deceased by Rodeo Hercules Fire Department.  There were no signs of foul play.  The subject had a history of heart problems, and had a heart attack approximately 4 years prior.  The Contra Costa County Coroner released the body to the family due to his prior health history.

Warrant Arrest x 2 & False Impersonation of Another:  On Jan. 7 at 3:39 p.m. an officer stopped a Rust ’94 Mercury Cougar, for expired registration (June 2004), in front of Starbuck’s.  The rear license plate had a 2014 year tab affixed to it, which was not associated with that vehicle.  The driver verbally identified himself as 47 year old Joseph Johnson.  The passenger was identified as 51 year old Troy Briggs, of San Pablo.  A records check on both revealed “Joseph Johnson” to be an AKA for Eric Staudinger.  Officers knew the driver was not Eric Staudinger, as they had prior contacts with Staudinger.  Briggs was found to have a non-citable Misdemeanor Warrant issued on 12/24/13.  Briggs was arrested and later transported to the Martinez Detention Facility.  A search, for identification, was done on “Joseph Johnson”.  No identification was found on “Johnson’s” person, or where he was seated in the Cougar.  “Joseph Johnson” was arrested per 40302 (a) VC (a person must provide proof of identity when being arrested or cited) and transported to HPD.  He was then live scanned (fingerprinted).  The County Identification Bureau called stating “Johnson’s” true name, 45-year-old John Jewett of El Sobrante. Jewett was found to have an outstanding Felony No Bail Warrant issued on Dec. 24.  He was arrested for the warrant; Driving without a Driver’s License; False Personation of Another (where the actual person could incur a penalty).  Jewett was transported to the Martinez Detention Facility.

Auto Burglary: On Jan. 7 at 4:56 p.m. an HPD officer was dispatched to Big Lots located in the 1500 block of Sycamore Avenue in Hercules for an auto Burglary.  The reporting party stated he parked his 2008 Honda Accord in the parking lot of Big Lots at approximately 2:30 p.m.  He returned to his vehicle at approximately 4:50 p.m. and found the rear passenger side window broken.  There was a cannon digital camera and a cannon camera lens on the passenger side rear floor board of the vehicle that was stolen from the vehicle.  The camera and lens cost approximately $1500.00 combined. 

Felony  Evading Arrest; Driving into on Coming Traffic; Possession of Stolen Property; Auto Theft; and Violation of Probation: On Jan. 7 at 8:05 p.m. an Hercules officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, on a 2013 Gray Kia, for no front license plate. The unknown driver accelerated and a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit continued for 8.2 miles and lasted 7 minutes and 31 seconds as it made its way through Pinole and Hercules. The pursuit reached speed of 100 MPH, on North end San Pablo Ave (no traffic present); and the driver drove into oncoming traffic on Willow Ave, from Mariners Point to the Willow Glen Apartments The pursuit ended in the north side of the parking lot of the Willow Glen Apartments. 38-year-old James Zatezalo was found hiding on the ground next to a nearby vehicle.  He was arrested for Felony Evading, and Driving into on Coming Traffic.  Officers checked the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the vehicle and determined the vehicle was reported stolen to Oakland PD on Dec. 9. Officers located identification, and ID’s, for 4 separate auto burglary victims. The vehicle burglaries recently took place in El Cerrito and Richmond. Zatezalo was additionally charged with Auto Theft, and four counts of Possession of Stolen Property. Zatezalo also had a No Bail misdemeanor warrant and was transported to the Martinez Detention Facility.

Soman January 11, 2014 at 08:53 PM
Huh??? Must be a different article because no mention here of multiple accidents or "35 cops". Sounds like someone's been hitting the med marijuana a little too heavy. Sounds to me like the police did a great job here.
Soman January 11, 2014 at 09:35 PM
Oh I see now. A brief examination of Mr. Bri's history indicate that he hates the police in any form. Weird thing is most of his venom is directed towards cities on the east coast. Obviously an ex con out to voice his displeasure with society. We can safely ignore the ignorance. Another case solved.
Soman January 16, 2014 at 09:15 PM
Brimming with intelligence. Someone please take out the trash. It's starting to reek.
Big Bri's Mama January 17, 2014 at 07:00 PM
thats not the trash. thats crotch.

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