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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sonoma County: Man posing as fire inspector, accomplice arrested in Petaluma burglary

A Sonoma man posing as a fire inspector raised suspicions Sunday in a Petaluma restaurant, leading to the man's arrest as a suspected burglar, Petaluma police reported.

Wearing a Cal Fire baseball cap, the man went into Tres Hombres restaurant on Petaluma Boulevard South at about 5:10 p.m. Sunday, Sgt. Andrew Urton reported.

He'd entered an employee-only area, grabbed a worker's purse and was concealing it when an employee stopped him, Urton said.

The man told the employee he was a fire inspector conducting a routine sprinkler inspection.

But the suspicious employee asked for identification. The man couldn't produce any and left the restaurant, followed by employees. On the way to an awaiting car he dropped the purse, Urton said.

Employees called police with a car description and officers spotted the car a few blocks away in a parking lot.

The suspected burglar wasn't in the car. A citizen in the area pointed out the man hiding between parked cars and officers arrested Frank Sullivan, 45, of Sonoma on suspicion of burglary, grand theft and possession of stolen property.

Officers also arrested Sullivan's driver, Carrie Leenert, 43, of Santa Rosa on suspicion of burglary, being an accessory and possessing stolen property.

In her purse and in the car officers found items recently reported as stolen from Marin and Sacramento counties.

One of the thefts was at a Marin County shopping mall. In that case, workers reported a man posing as a mall employee who said he was checking the fire sprinkler system. Items disappeared from an employees' area at the time of the man's appearance.

The suspect in that case matched a description of Sullivan, Urton said.

Officers took the pair to Sonoma County Jail. Both were being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.


Source article by: By RANDI ROSSMANN THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Link

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