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Police: Prowler Linked to Five Burglaries — Mostly Jewelry

Jewelry stolen in two of the break-ins has been recovered from an Oakland pawn shop.

A suspected prowler arrested by Piedmont police last month as he left a backyard on Ricardo Avenue has been linked to at least five burglaries, a Piedmont Police Department spokesman said Tuesday.

Detective George Phifer said information tying Yardley Brown, 61, to burglaries in the first block of Manor Drive and in the 5400 block of Manila Avenue in Oakland's Rockridge district will be presented to the Alameda County District Attorney's office today.

Police have recovered jewelry stolen in both of those cases from an Oakland pawn shop, Phifer said.

He said Brown already faces charges in connection with three additional burglaries in Piedmont:

—The first block of Park Boulevard.

—The 200 block of Ricardo Avenue, across the street from the home where Brown was arrested as he emerged from a neighbor's backyard.

—The 1000 block of Harvard Road, where the theft of multiple items of jewelry was reported Jan. 6.

Pieces of jewelry were the main items taken in all of the burglaries, Phifer said.

The Rockridge victim read about Brown's arrest and contacted Piedmont police, although a report had already been made to the Oakland Police Department on Feb. 25, Phifer said.

Ten items of jewelry from that burglary, pawned less than 30 days ago, were recovered from the pawn shop by police, he said. Under California law, a  pawn broker must retain items for 30 days before selling them.

Phifer said police also recovered a piece of jewelry from the Manor Drive burglary that had been been inscribed with a birthday greeting.

The pawn shop owner has cooperated with police and is not suspected of illegal actions, he said.

Brown was initially arrested March 25 after a Ricardo Avenue resident reported a prowler in the backyard. A press release issued by Police Chief Rikki Goede on March 28 said that Brown may have pawned more than $50,000 worth of jewelry over the past five months.

Phifer said much of the credit for investigation of the burglaries should go to his new partner, Detective Bob Coffey, who joined the Piedmont Police Department about a month ago — doubling the number of detectives on the local force.

Coffey is a 30-year veteran of the Hayward Police Department and is working for PPD on a part-time basis, Phifer said.

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steve deutsche April 26, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Nice heads up Police work guys!!!

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