Archive for the ‘Police & Crime’ Category

Antioch teen shot, San Pablo man stabbed during botched home invasion robbery early Sunday morning

Monday, June 14th, 2021

Richmond man, another San Pablo man also arrested

By Sergeant Matthew Koch #3018, Antioch Police Special Operations Unit Investigations Bureau

On June 13, 2021, at approximately 4:04 AM, Antioch police officers responded to the 100 block of Hillside Road for a male that was shot.

When officers arrived, they located a 19-year-old male victim suffering from at least one gunshot wound inside the home. Officers immediately began to administer first aid and called for AMR paramedics. The 19-year-old male victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for his injuries and is in stable condition. A 57-year-old male and 54-year-old female were in the home at the time and listed as victims.

Evidence at the scene indicated several suspects forced their way into the house, were confronted by the victim and other family members, and one of the suspects shot the 19-year-old victim. None of the other family members were injured by gunfire. After what appeared to be a botched, home invasion-style robbery, the suspects fled from the area.

While officers were investigating the shooting, a 23-year-old male (from San Pablo) was dropped off at a local hospital with multiple stab wounds. Officers arrived at the hospital and contacted the injured subject, and an additional 20-year-old male (from Richmond) at the emergency room. It was determined both males were suspects from the home invasion robbery. The 23-year-old male was treated for stab wounds and is expected to survive.

Antioch Police Department’s Investigations Bureau, consisting of Crime Scene Investigators and detectives with Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units, responded to the scene and took over the investigation.

During the course of the investigation, detectives were able to identify a third suspect, a 22-year-old male (from San Pablo). The third suspect was located and arrested in the City of Richmond. The investigation is still active, and evidence is being collected and evaluated.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441, or Detective Bledsoe at (925) 779-6884. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Contra Costa, three other county DA’s to finalize $400,000 settlement with MoviePass affiliated executives for unlawful Business Practices

Monday, June 7th, 2021

Following 2018 complaint filed by Contra Costa County resident with California Attorney General’s Office.

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney

Martinez, Calif. – On May 20, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the District Attorneys’ Offices of Ventura, Sonoma, and San Joaquin Counties, entered into a negotiated settlement agreement with former MoviePass affiliated executives, Theodore Farnsworth and Mitchell Lowe, for engaging in numerous unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business acts and practices, while overseeing the operations of the now defunct movie theater subscription service. CCCDA MoviePass Documents

In total, Farnsworth and Lowe will have to pay $400,000 in civil penalties and cy pres restitution, as part of the signed Stipulated Judgment approved by the Honorable Nancy Davis Stark. In addition to the monetary payments, Farnsworth and Lowe are enjoined from engaging in any of the alleged unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business acts or practices committed during their tenure as MoviePass managers. The settlement gets divided by all the DA’s involved and some goes to the state. The DA’s then use the monies for consumer protection activities.

MoviePass, Inc. (MoviePass) was an American subscription-based movie ticket service headquarter in New York City. Founded in 2011, the service initially allowed subscribers to purchase up to three movie tickets per month for a discounted monthly fee. The service utilized a mobile phone app where users checked into a theater and chose a movie and showtime, which resulted in the cost of the ticket being loaded by MoviePass to a prepaid MoviePass debit card, which was then used to purchase the ticket from the movie theater.

In 2017, Helios and Matheson Analytics purchased MoviePass. Around the time of the purchase, the business model for MoviePass, shifted from a three movie per month subscription to offering, among other things, an “unlimited” subscription plan at $9.95 a month and an “unlimited” fixed rate annual subscription. However, over the course of the next two years, the business model and terms of service changed multiple times to the detriment of the consumers.
After the acquisition of MoviePass by Helios and Matheson Analytics, the Defendants engaged in numerous unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent acts and practices. These acts and practices include, but are not limited to:

• Falsely advertising that MoviePass subscriptions offer “unlimited” movie watching. Specifically, “any movie”, “any day”, at “any theater”, when in reality MoviePass continually added limitations to customers’ subscriptions.
• Unconscionably changing terms of service during a subscription period.
• Converting all prepaid “unlimited” plans to three movies per month.
• Shutting down the availability of movies when a certain dollar amount is reached. (Trip wire).
• Failing to notify autorenewal customers of material changes to their subscriptions.
• Continuously charging customers’ debit or credit cards after receiving notice of cancellation from customers.

In addition to the above acts and practices, in 2019, MoviePass suffered a data breach. The data breach was the result of a MoviePass engineer creating an unsecured and unencrypted server as a debugging tool. This server had more than 161 million pieces of personal identifying information, including names, MoviePass card numbers, credit card numbers, billing information, email addresses and login information, belonging to at least 58,000 consumers. Despite being notified by private individuals, MoviePass allowed this server to operate for three months before it was taken down. MoviePass failed to advise the California Attorney General’s Office of the data breach, as required by law.

MoviePass shut down its operations in September of 2019. Both MoviePass and its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January of 2020.

In 2018 a local Contra Costa County resident filed a complaint against MoviePass with the California Attorney General’s Office. The complaint alleged that MoviePass was in violation of the Terms of Service as the company was not showing available tickets in the mobile app and limited the number of movies to the consumer even though they paid in advance for a year of “unlimited” service. In turn, the complaint was forwarded to our office for further investigation.

We welcome residents to file consumer complaints with our office via our website, www.contracostada.org. Case information: People v. Theodore Farnsworth and Mitchell Lowe, Docket C21-01045, Contra Costa County Superior Court.

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Three arrested in Antioch Friday for armed robbery, multiple carjackings in East Bay, Dublin homicide

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Guns, ammunition, phones and other items seized from the suspects during their arrest on Friday, June 4, 2021. Photo: Oakland PD

Two juveniles, one adult

By Allen Payton

Three individuals were arrested in Antioch on Friday, June 4, 2021, for armed robbery and multiple carjackings in the East Bay and an attempted homicide in Dublin.

In tweets on their Twitter feed on Friday, the Oakland Police Department wrote, “OPD arrested 3 individuals responsible for armed robbery & multiple carjackings in Oakland & throughout the East Bay. With the assistance of @DublinCAPolice & @AntiochPolice. OPD officers recovered 5 firearms. The individuals are also connected to an attempted homicide in Dublin.

The OPD also wrote, “Two of the individuals are connected to the attempted homicide in Dublin.”

In a further post on the department’s Facebook page, they wrote, “OPD arrested two juveniles and one adult.”

According to a KPIX5 CBS Bay Area report, “The Oakland, Dublin and Antioch Police Departments worked together to serve a warrant at a home in Antioch on Thursday. Dublin police said the investigation into the attempted murder and armed robbery was continuing to identify the third suspect in this incident.”

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Suspect arrested for Memorial Day fireworks-related apartment fire in Antioch

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

James Sossaman, 44, Antioch resident, arrested May 31 for Unlawfully Causing a Fire (PC § 452(c)) and Felon in Possession of a Firearm (PC § 29800) and aerial view of May 31 Hargrove St., Antioch fire reveals area of grassfire origin and damaged apartment buildings. Photos: Con Fire

Investigators determine vegetation fire that destroyed eight apartments, displaced 40 residents caused by fireworks.

By Steve Hill, Public Information Officer, Con Fire

Fireworks seized in conjunction with May 31 Antioch grassfire that led to destruction of eight apartments and displacement of 40 residents. Photo: Con Fire

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District (Con Fire) today, June 1, 2021, announced its fire investigators made a fireworks-related arrest yesterday in relation to a fireworks-caused fire behind apartments in the 1700-block of Hargrove Street in Antioch that destroyed eight units and displaced 40 residents.

James Sossaman, 44, an Antioch resident, was arrested for Unlawfully Causing a Fire to Inhabited Structures (PC § 452(b)) and Felon in Possession of a Firearm (PC § 29800) and transported by Antioch Police to Martinez Detention Facility for booking.

Con Fire responded to multiple reports of a vegetation fire behind apartments in the 1700 block of Hargrove in Antioch, May 31 just after 5:30 p.m. While responding, Engine 81 reported a large column of black smoke from a half mile away. Upon arrival, the grass fire had already extended from the grass into a two-story apartment complex and a second-alarm response was ordered. An aggressive fire attack followed in an attempt to slow the spread of fire.

Through witness interviews and surveillance videos, investigators located the person responsible for the grass fire and determined it was caused by Sossaman throwing an M-100 pyrotechnic device into the field behind the apartment complex. Through the investigation, Sossaman was also found to be on felony probation. During a search of his apartment, a loaded firearm was located along with several other illegal fireworks.

Weather conditions at the time — temperatures in the upper 90s with wind gusts between 15-20 mph – quickly fed the fire into the neighboring apartments. Crews, including East Contra Costa Fire’s Battalion 5, were able to stop grassfire spread across the gully and protect the apartments on the west side of the incident.

Additional companies worked to extinguish the structure fires and search 10 separate apartments that were either on fire or in immediate danger of catching fire. Strong winds blew the fire across a breezeway to adjoining apartments. A coordinated fire attack resulted in the fire being extinguished at approximately 6:26 p.m. Crews were on scene for approximately three hours to overhaul and salvage as much as possible.

The fire displaced 40 residents and the American Red Cross assisted with housing for those displaced.

No firefighters were injured. Two civilians were transported to hospital for smoke inhalation.

Con Fire’s Fire Investigation Unit urges residents to help them fight the crime of arson across the county by calling the Arson Tip Line at 1-866-50-ARSON. They caution residents not to hesitate on information that seems too little or unimportant to matter, adding some of the most valuable tips come from residents who were not aware what they saw was very important to the investigation of an incident.

At 1-866-50-ARSON, residents can leave a recorded message about fire-related criminal activity in English or Spanish. Tips can be anonymous, but all tips are treated confidentially. Fire investigators sometimes need additional information, so inclusion of name and phone number is encouraged.

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Multiple citations issued, five cars towed, two guns seized, one arrested during Antioch traffic enforcement

Saturday, May 29th, 2021

Antioch Police stop a car at the Valero Station on Somersville Road during their traffic enforcement Friday night, May 28, 2021. Photos: APD

Friday night crack down in response to last weekend’s sideshows

By Antioch Police Department

Last night, Friday, May 28, 2021, in response to last weekend’s sideshow activity, the Antioch Police Department and several of our neighboring agencies dedicated extra officers to a proactive traffic enforcement detail in order to deter any potential sideshow activity.

During this enforcement effort:

  • over 50 vehicle stops were conducted,
  • over a dozen citations were issued,
  • 5 cars were towed,
  • 2 guns were recovered and,
  • 1 arrest was made.

One of the five cars towed and one of the two guns seized Friday night. Photos: APD

We believe this coordinated effort provided a visible deterrent that helped to prevent any sideshows from occurring during the evening. We plan to continue these proactive enforcement efforts throughout the weekend and encourage everyone to drive safely over the holiday weekend.

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Suspect in shooting death of 12-year-old girl in Antioch arrested in Oakland Tuesday

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Michael Dwyane Fritz in DMV photo 2020 (left) and arrest photo from earlier in 2021 (right).

Was hiding inside house; U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force had him surrounded

By Sergeant James Stenger / Lieutenant John Fortner, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

The Antioch Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Unit has been continuously working on the case of the shooting death of a 12-year-old girl in Antioch, following up on leads, interviewing witnesses, and processing evidence, since the evening of May 12th. The unimaginable violence of this crime, that took away such a young member of the community, pressed into service all the resources the department could bring into play. As the investigation quickly led to the identification of the suspect, Oakland resident Michael Dwyane Fritz, detectives reached out to the Oakland Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service for their assistance.

On May 25th, Antioch’s Investigations Bureau, in collaboration with the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, developed information that led to the peaceful arrest of Fritz. It was learned Fritz was hiding at a house in Oakland, on the 2300 block of 85th Avenue, which is a dense residential neighborhood near several schools. At about 3:00 pm, Deputy U.S. Marshals surrounded the residence and contacted the occupants. Fritz exited the house peacefully and surrendered to the Deputies. Afterwards, Fritz was turned over to Antioch detectives from the Violent Crimes and Special Operations Units assisting at the scene.

The Antioch PD values the partnerships we have developed with these allied agencies, and we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the U.S. Marshals Service and the Oakland PD, for their support and assistance in bringing this case to a successful conclusion. The Antioch PD would also like to thank the communities for their assistance with this case. The case will be presented to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office later this week.

There are no outstanding suspects in this case and the Antioch Police Department believes this was an isolated incident.

Statement from U.S. Marshals Service

United States Marshal, Don O’Keefe, of the Northern District of California would like all Bay Area residents to know that the U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force will continue to work diligently to ensure that violent fugitives in the Bay Area are brought to justice.

The U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who combine resources and work daily to apprehend violent fugitives from justice, such as Michael Fritz, through networking with task forces across the country.

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Antioch woman dies, driver, other passenger injured in three-car wrong-way head-on collision Tuesday

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Victim’s car hit head on (left), responsible vehicle (right), and the other victim’s car in distance (right of fire truck) which sustained less damage, at the scene of the collision in the southbound lanes of Somersville Road in Antioch on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Photos by Allen Payton

She was 68-years-old, driver is 73; drivers of other cars released from hospital with minor injuries

By Sergeant Rick Martin #3343, Antioch Police Field Services Division

Scene of collision on Somersville Road south of Highway 4.

On Tuesday, May 25,2021, at 12:17 pm, Antioch Police Officers were assisting a stranded motorist when they noticed a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed, northbound on Somersville Road from Buchanan Road. The vehicle proceeded through the intersection of Delta Fair Boulevard, crossed over the center median and collided head on into a vehicle travelling south on Somersville Road. The force of the collision caused the responsible vehicle to collide into a second vehicle travelling south.

The driver, a 73-year-old male from Antioch, was transported to a local hospital with moderate injuries. His passenger, a 68-year-old female from Antioch was pronounced deceased at the scene. A third passenger, 56-year-old female from Antioch, was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The drivers of the two victim vehicles, both from Antioch, a 22-year-old female hit head on, and a 40-year-old male, were transported to local hospitals and later released with minor injuries. The Antioch Police Department Traffic Division took over the investigation. Drugs and/or alcohol do not appear to be a factor in this investigation.

Victim’s car that was hit head on.

The accident had traffic backed up on the eastbound offramp and on the freeway. Both the northbound and the southbound lanes of Somersville Road between Delta Fair Blvd. and the Highway 4 overpass were blocked off during the investigation. A woman on the scene said she lives near Lowe’s and heard the crash from her home.

Names of the drivers are being withheld at this time until proper notifications are made to the next of kin.

No further information will be released at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non- emergency line at (925)778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Police, councilman share photos from Saturday night sideshow in Antioch, warn participants, spectators

Monday, May 24th, 2021

Aerial photo of sideshow at West 10th Street and Auto Center Drive Saturday night, May 22, 2021. Photo provided by APD

Participants and spectators “subject to up to 90 days in county jail and fines up to $1,000. Several license plates were obtained…as…vehicles fled the scene…will be followed up on, warrants will be written, and…towed for 30 days.”

“We cannot tolerate this in our community. This is unsafe and is a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.” – Antioch Councilman Mike Barbanica

By Antioch Police Department

Tire marks in ARCO gas station lot at W. 10th St. and Auto Center Drive, May 22, 2021. Photo by APD

Posted May 23, 2021 – As many of you have seen by now through social media or other news media outlets, there was a large-scale side show in East Contra Costa County that touched the cities of Antioch, Pittsburg, Oakley, and Brentwood for several hours last night (May 22). While we were able to head off several of the participants before anything could get started, eventually the crowd was able to overtake the intersection of Auto Center Drive and W. 10th Street with several hundred vehicles and spectators. Mutual aid was requested due to the large numbers involved, and eventually officers from the Pittsburg Police, Brentwood Police and Sheriff’s Office responded and we were able to disperse the crowd. Over the course of the next several hours, other smaller side shows popped up in Antioch and surrounding cities until the early morning hours.

These events have become more prevalent in recent months in our city and present many problems aside from the noise and traffic violations. They not only put the participants at risk of death or injury, but also the public should they get caught amid one of these intersections that have been taken over. These events also create traffic issues for police and medical responses to true emergency calls as well, and the Antioch Police Department has taken a zero-tolerance response to such activity.

During last night’s events alone, 20 citations were issued, and 21 vehicles were towed and stored for 30 days for those in attendance who were able to be stopped. So, everyone is aware, participating in these events, including being a spectator or helping block intersections so these events may continue is subject to up to 90 days in county jail and fines up to $1,000. Additionally, whether you are actively participating or spectating, your vehicle will be towed and stored at your expense for 30 days. These costs will run into the thousands of dollars and may also lead to a driver’s license suspension.

Another aerial photo of sideshow at W. 10th Street and Auto Center Drive in Antioch on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Photo provided by APD.

For those of you that believe you got out of town last night before being stopped by the police, be aware that this may be true for some, but not all of you. Several license plates were obtained last night as dozens of vehicles fled the scene. These vehicles will be followed up on, warrants will be written, and those vehicles will also be towed for 30 days.

To summarize the events from last night, these events will not be tolerated in the City of Antioch, and all participants and spectators will be met with all enforcement action allowed under the California Vehicle Code. Thank you to all the agencies that responded to our mutual aid request and helped us in our efforts to keep Antioch safe. It is greatly appreciated.

Sideshow tire marks in intersection of W. 10th St. and Auto Center Dr. Sunday, May 23, 2021. Photos by Mike Barbanica

Councilman Comments, Posts Photos of Damage

District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica was the only Antioch council member to post anything about the sideshows, one of which occurred in District one, on his official Facebook page. On Sunday, he wrote, “I went out today and visited some of the locations from the recent side shows. I very BIG thank you to the APD Sgt. and crew that took a zero tolerance stance on this, having more than 20 cars towed on 30 day impounds, more than 20 citations and warrants coming for more cars also to be impounded for 30 days. We cannot tolerate this in our community. This is unsafe and is a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed. GREAT JOB APD! Also thank you to the allied agencies that came into our community to help.”

Tire marks in ARCO station lot Sunday, May 23, 2021. Photos by Mike Barbanica

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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