Following a police chase, a man was arrested in Newark on Thursday in connection with a series of recent auto burglaries at Atherton's Holbrook-Palmer Park, where vehicle windows were broken and items taken from cars.
Newark police said they arrested David Barnett, 42, of Newark, around at 3:15 p.m. after following him when he left a home that was under surveilance on a motorcycle. He crashed into a police car before fleeing on foot and was eventually subdued with a Taser, police said.
David Barnett, 42, of Newark. (Photo: Newark Police Department.)
Mr. Barnett was charged with possession of stolen property, burglary and probation violation, Sgt. Alfredo Guarducci of the Atherton Police Department said.
The break in the case came, Sgt. Guarducci said, when a witness to a Wednesday, April 15, burglary in the park called in the license plate number and a description of the car, a silver Mercedes Benz CLK, and its driver.
Sgt. Guarducci said the man "has a long criminal history" and a connection to prison gangs and was wanted on probation violations when arrested.
Atherton sent out the description of the suspect to other agencies and tracked down the license plate to a home in Newark, Sgt. Guarducci said.
He met with Newark police and with Alameda County sheriff's deputies, who said they had a photo of the man they suspected was involved in the incidents. The webcam photo had been taken remotely by the owner of a stolen laptop using the computer's camera. The photo showed a distinctive tattoo, which Sgt. Guarducci said allowed police to confirm the identity of the suspect.
Sgt. Guarducci said the Atherton police then showed a photo lineup to the witness to the April 15 Holbrook-Palmer Park burglary, and that witness identified Mr. Barnett.
While property from two earlier burglaries in the park was not found in the home, Sgt. Guarducci said police think they have evidence tying Mr. Barnett to a March 27 crime. Credit cards stolen in that crime were used in stores that had surveillance cameras, and those photos should tie him to the crime, Sgt. Guarducci said.
Finding the man was made more complicated because the car he was using was not registered in his name, and he was not known to live at the Newark address. "If we didn't investigate it properly we would have never found him," he said.
Police caution people to always either remove or hide valuable items when parking vehicles. "Thieves look inside car windows and steal items that appear to be valuable," police said.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call the Atherton Police Department at (650) 688-6500.