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April 07, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Police capture suspect on lam for five days Police capture suspect on lam for five days (April 07, 2004)

By Jonas Raab
Almanac Staff Writer

A motorist who sped away from a traffic stop after he was pulled over in Atherton on suspicion of "casing" houses for burglary was captured April 3 after a five-day search.

Richard Curtis Mazanec, 34, of San Mateo, was arrested by a San Mateo police officer who recognized the suspect from a photograph issued by the Atherton police department.

It all began when police Lt. Glenn Nielsen was driving his unmarked car in the first block of Atherton Avenue on March 29 and noticed what he called a suspicious vehicle pulling in and out of driveways, with the driver possibly checking out houses for later burglaries, according to police.

Lt. Nielsen radioed the dispatcher for assistance, and Officer Don Dunphy responded, stopping the vehicle on Atherton Avenue. At one point, the man suddenly started his car and sped off westbound on Atherton Avenue, said Chief Bob Brennan.

Officer Dunphy followed the car, but the driver abandoned the vehicle at the end of Ridgeview Drive and fled on foot. Despite the efforts of the Atherton police and San Mateo County Sheriff's Office deputies, including a canine unit, the suspect escaped.

On April 3, a San Mateo police officer spotted Mr. Mazanec leaving a residence in the 1600 block of Noe Street in San Mateo, and arrested him on charges of parole violation, possession of methamphetamines with intent to sell, and possession of a deadly weapon, a side-handled police baton.

Mr. Mazanec was charged on April 5 with evading police, resisting arrest, possession of stolen property and possession of hypodermic needles.

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