Break-in leads to stolen property for 45 victims

Danville police give six tips to help prevent thefts from vehicles

Maybe Someone was watching as would-be burglars at a church inadvertently led police to stolen property from 45 recent victims.

Employees at Rolling Hills Church in the 1500 block of Green Valley Road in Danville apparently interrupted a burglary in progress when they arrived at the church Oct. 31 to find that computers and game systems had been unhooked and placed in the hallways of the church.

Danville police Officer Paul Murphy arrived at the scene and began to look into the crime. The employees told him that those responsible for moving the property had entered by unknown means.

"Information was developed by Officer Murphy that led him to a residence in the 1600 block of Poplar Drive in the city of Walnut Creek," said investigations Sgt. Dan Hoffman. "A search of a residence at this location led to the discovery of stolen property belonging to approximately 45 people from the central Contra Costa County area."

Matt Harris, 29, of Walnut Creek and Amanda Bruntz, 19, of Pacheco were arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, which was mostly documents, checks and credit cards, said Hoffman.

"These items were primarily stolen from victims' mailboxes, and also from vehicle and residential burglaries," Hoffman explained. "A large majority of the victims were not aware that they had been a victim of mail theft."

Some of the stolen documents had been used to commit identity theft by the suspects, he added. Computers were seized from the residence and are being forensically analyzed by the Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force.

"Over the last month we have seen an increase of thefts from vehicles in town," said Hoffman.

He also noted that nearly all of the vehicle-related thefts are a result of residents leaving valuables in plain view in the passenger compartment.

"It is important that we reach out to our communities and educate the public in current crime trends," said Hoffman.

He gave the following tips to prevent auto thefts:

• Take your valuables from your car inside your house or lock them inside your trunk when you get home. A large majority of local thefts from autos are due to citizens leaving valuables in plain view in the passenger compartment of their vehicles.

• Park your car inside your garage if at all possible. As a side note, please shut your garage doors at night and when you are not in the garage. We are experiencing an increase in open garage door thefts.

• Keep your vehicles locked.

• Utilize lighting to deter thieves from lurking in your area.

• Do not leave your car running and unattended.

• Please do not hesitate to contact the Danville Police Department dispatch should you see a suspicious person in your neighborhood.

The non-emergency telephone number is 820-2144.


Like this comment
Posted by Student
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Nov 14, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Stealing from a church is like ASKING God to send you to Hell. Just Kidding. But really, I'm SO Glad they recovered the stuff, because I <3 Rolling Hills. Nobody there deserves their things to be stolen.

Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2009 at 8:40 am

Here's another thing u can do to prevent auto thefts and crime in your area. Don't actively bring in criminals! U all know what I'm talking

PS: I wish I couldve chimed in on the page about the nutty Muslim in stoneridge. Alas, I happened to hear about it too late. By that time the editors had decided that there was too much airing of local opinion, and they shut down the free speech like the Gestapo they are

Like this comment
Posted by A Reader
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Rick, good to see your still out there. What happened to this wedsite?

Like this comment
Posted by Sick of Rick still
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 16, 2009 at 7:48 am

Rick you need to talk your foul mouthed crap elsewhere, like you promised. Stop being a little lying wuss and go actually do something. You are all talk and absolutely no action. Where's this website you claimed you set up? Nowhere, that's where. Shouldn't you go upstairs from the basement? I'm sure mommy's made you some nice pancakes.

Like this comment
Posted by Aaron
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Rick - Are you STILL fear-mongering about people who don't fit in with your perception about who belongs in your Danville bubble? The church thief lives on Poplar in Walnut Creek - about a five minute walk to Alamo. You better to run, Rick. The bad guys are getting closer!

And I love how you called the armed robber arrested in Pleasanton a "nutty Muslim." A) You, of all people, are in no position to be calling anyone nutty, and b) I think it's fair to assume he didn't learn his criminal ways in a mosque. Muslims are a peaceable people of faith. That man in no way reflects any religious community, including the Muslim community.

Why don't you take Sick of Rick's advice, and climb out of the basement for a while. Go visit a mosque, perhaps. Or maybe you can meet someone with pigment in their skin and find out what they're like? I promise that wedging open your tiny mind doesn't hurt a bit.

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Nov 16, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Matt Harris? Amanda Brundt? Gosh -- those names don't sound Muslim. Are the police really sure?

Like this comment
Posted by Toaster Oven
a resident of Danville
on Nov 18, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Citizen Paine - good observation - those names are about as Muslim as Timothy McVeigh, David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy.

Aaron - IMHO the "nutty Muslim" Rick was referring to was not much of a Muslim, was not much of a robber and was not armed with anything more lethal than a pen, (which may be mightier than a sword but not in the same way). Here is the relevant Danville Weekly story:
Web Link

PS Look out for more mall workers of whichever religious persuasion going nuts after a month of being forced to listen to "Jingle Bells"!

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Nov 19, 2009 at 7:15 am

Toaster, Citizen, Aaron - you bring back my faith that common sense exists in this neighborhood. The forum on the mall incident had me frankly worried about raising my kids here (and almost worried about continuing to add to the forum discussion given the overwhelming paranoia).

I'm glad that the staff at Rolling Hills were able to help police put a stop to this particular group. Our neighborhood had a major issue with residential burglaries about a year ago and several neighbors added an alarm system - one was burglarized soon thereafter and the culprits got away before police arrived so they were pretty quick!

It's no fun to be burglarized, but let's not assume that everyone who commits a crime is a terrorist or (gasp) undocumented person of color, bent on ransacking our valuables. We grow the ilk pretty nicely right here at home.

Like this comment
Posted by Art
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I am one of the victims. According to Sergeant Hoffman, the police found a credit card and bill of mine when they searched the house of the perps. Are there any other victims out there who may want to see what we can do about this?

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